Me and Caligula (Henry)

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Me and Caligula
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: Two kidnappers held a wealthy railroad president for ransom, treating him with luxurious food and comfort, while awaiting the ransom payment from his company's vice-president.

Two kidnappers, the narrator and his partner Caligula, spent three days scouting the perfect location to hold their captive, Colonel Jackson T. Rockingham, president of the Sunrise & Edenville Tap Railroad. They eventually settled on a remote mountainous area, accessible only by a secret path they had created. The narrator then went to Atlanta to purchase a luxurious supply of food, drink, and other amenities to ensure the Colonel's comfort during his captivity.

The Narrator — narrator; one of the kidnappers; skilled cook, appreciates finer things in life.
Caligula Polk — narrator's partner in crime; talented Western cook, resourceful.
Colonel Jackson T. Rockingham — wealthy railroad president; kidnapped victim; thin, tall, elderly gentleman; appreciative of fine food and comfort.

After setting up camp, they captured Colonel Rockingham and brought him to their hideout. The kidnappers treated him with respect and offered him the freedom of the camp in exchange for his word not to try to escape. The Colonel agreed and was treated to a lavish lunch prepared by the kidnappers. He was so impressed by the meal that he even included a detailed description of it in the ransom note they forced him to write.

Bandits in Perry County, Georgia! I shall see that the board of immigration and public improvements hears of this!

The ransom note demanded $10,000 for the Colonel's release and instructed the recipient to follow specific directions to deliver the money. The Colonel was allowed to add a postscript to the note, reassuring his colleagues that he was being treated well and describing the extravagant meals he was being served. The narrator then found a messenger to deliver the ransom note to the railroad offices in Edenville.

I never saw a man eat with so much earnestness and application — not hastily, like a grammarian, or one of the canal, but slow and appreciative, like a anaconda, or a real vive bonjour.