The Ransom of Red Chief


O. Henry

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The Ransom of Red Chief Characters


Sam, the story’s narrator, is a con-man and a hustler who works with his partner-in-crime Bill to hatch harebrained criminal plots. He is always looking for a "good thing" and a scheme to make a… read analysis of Sam


Johnny Dorset is the ten-year-old boy whom Sam and Bill kidnap for ransom money. He is the son of Ebenezer Dorset, a prominent townsperson who, it is implied, has been a cold and negligent… read analysis of Johnny

Bill Driscoll

Bill Driscoll is Sam’s partner in crime—together, the two men have committed a string of petty crimes “in poker games, dynamite outrages, police raids, train robberies and cyclones.” In a scheme to collect ransom… read analysis of Bill Driscoll

Ebenezer Dorset

Ebenezer Dorset is Johnny's father, a wealthy businessman in the town of Summit. Sam describes him as a rich but stingy person who takes advantage of people in distress: “Respectable and tight, a mortgage… read analysis of Ebenezer Dorset