Once Bill and I made a plan to kidnap a child and get a ransom for him. We chose a boy who was ten years old. He was the son of a rich man, Dorset by name. Bill and I were sure that the father was going to pay us a ransom of two thousand dollars.
There was a mountain not far from the town. We found a large cave in it and made it a home for ourselves. One evening we went to Dorset's house, kidnapped the boy and took him the mountain.
I left Bill and the boy there and went to the town to buy some food. When I came back I saw that Bill and the boy sat near the fire.
"Come to the fire!" the boy shouted, "Red Chief himself welcomes you!"
"We're playing Indian," Bill told me. "He's all right now, but I had a hard time with him when you were away."
We sat down to supper. "Red Chief," said I, "Would you like to go home?"
"What for?" he asked. "I don't have any fun at home. I like it better here. Please don't take me home again."
"Not now," I said, "we'll stay here for some time."
Early next morning somebody's wild screaming woke me up. I jumped up to see what was wrong. Red Chief sat on Bill's back. In his hand he had a large stick.
"Help! He's going to kill me!" Bill shouted.
I took the stick away from the boy and made him lie down again.
Next day when I came back from the town, I saw that Bill stood with his back to the wall. There was a frightened look on his face. The boy stood near with a big stone in his hand. He was going to throw it at Bill.
"He put a hot potato down my back," Bill told me, "and I hit him."
I took the stone away from the boy.
"Now, are you going to be good or not?" I asked him, "if not I'll take you home at once."
"I didn't want to hurt Bill," said the boy," he hurt himself. I'll be good. Please, don't send me home."
Bill and I got a pen to write a letter. "Let's make the ransom a thousand and a half instead of two thousand," said Bill. "I am afraid that nobody will pay more for such a boy."
When we finished the letter the boy came up to Bill.
"Let's play a new game," he said.
"What should I do?" Bill asked with a frightened look on his face.
"You are the horse," Red Chief told him, "get down on your hands and knees."
"Sam," said Bill, "come back as soon as you can, please. I'm sorry we didn't make the ransom less than a thousand."