O. Henry the
Two adventurers – the narrator Sam and Bill Driscoll – have already earned something, and now they need a little more to go into speculation in land. They decide to kidnap the son of one of the wealthiest inhabitants of a small town in the state of Alabama, Colonel Ebenezer Dorsett. The heroes do not doubt that the father will calmly put two thousand dollars for his beloved child. Having seized the moment, friends attack the boy and, although he “fought like a brown bear of medium weight”, take him away on a cart to the mountains, where they hide in a cave. However, the boy is enthusiastic about his new position and does not want to go home. He declares himself the leader of the redskins, Bill – the old hunter Hank, the prisoner of the formidable Indian, and Sam receives the nickname Snake Eye. The child promises to remove the scalp from Bill, and, as it turns out, his words do not differ from the case. At dawn, Sam wakes
up from wild cries. He sees that the boy is sitting on Bill and trying to use a knife to cut off the brisket, to remove the scalp from him. At Bill, there are first doubts that anyone in their right mind wants to pay money for the return of such a treasure. However, having gone on reconnaissance, Sam indeed does not notice signs of anxiety in the house of Dorsetts.
Meanwhile, the situation in the camp is heating up, and the rogue species that have seen their way are helpless before the antics of their prisoner, who has perfectly entered the role of leader of the Redskins. At Bill’s insistence, on whose shoulders the main burden of protecting the captive falls, the ransom is reduced to one and a half thousand. After that, Sam sent with a letter to the nearest mail box, and Bill remains to guard the child.
Upon his return, Sam learns that Bill could not stand the test and sent the boy home. “I rode all ninety miles to the outpost, not an inch and then, when the settlers were rescued, I was given oats. Sand is an unimportant substitute for oats. and then I had to explain the broken hour why there
is emptiness in the holes, why the road goes to both hand and why the grass is green. ” Bill admits his guilt to a partner, but assures that if the child were left, he, Bill, would have to be sent to a madhouse. But Bill’s happiness is short-lived. Sam asks him to turn around, and behind his back his friend discovers the leader of the Redskins. However, the matter is approaching the denouement. Colonel Dorsett believes that the kidnappers asked for more. For his part, he makes a counter offer. For two hundred and fifty dollars he is ready to take his son back.
Exactly at midnight, Sam and Bill give his father a deception of the boy brought home. Realizing that he was fooled, he grasped a dead grip on Bill’s leg, and his father rips it off, “like a sticky plaster.” When asked how long the colonel can keep the child, Dorsett says that he has the wrong forces, but in ten minutes he guarantees. “In ten minutes,” Bill says, “I will cross the Central, Southern and Middle Western States and have time to reach the Canadian border.”