There was a town down there, as flat as a flannel-cake, and called Summit, of course.
It contained inhabitants of as undeleterious and self-satisfied a class of peasantry as ever clustered around a Maypole.
Bill and me had a joint capital of about six hundred dollars, and we needed just two thousand dollars more to pull off a fraudulent town-lot scheme in Western Illinois with.
We talked it over on the front steps of the hotel.
Philoprogenitiveness, says we, is strong in semi-rural communities;
therefore and for other reasons, a kidnapping project ought to do better there than in the radius of newspapers that send reporters out in plain clothes to stir up talk about such things.
We knew that Summit couldn't get after us with anything stronger than constables and maybe some lackadaisical bloodhounds and a diatribe or two in the Weekly Farmers' Budget.
So, it looked good.
We selected for our victim the only child of a prominent citizen named Ebenezer Dorset.
The father was respectable and tight, a mortgage fancier and a stern, upright collection-plate passer and forecloser.
The kid was a boy of ten, with bas-relief freckles, and hair the colour of the cover of the magazine you buy at the news-stand when you want to catch a train.
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