The Violence and Villains of Little Orphan Annie
Friend or Foe?
This "blackmail", as Pinchpenny perceives it, becomes all-consuming. He's
sure that Annie has found him out and is just attempting to milk him dry.
He attempts to have the knife stolen, but fails miserably. He then resorts
to new levels by burning the Futile's out of house and home. This again
backfires as Annie had the knife in her pocket when they escaped. In
addition, she had just recently had a new insurance policy taken out on
their home. Though this is a but too coincidental, all of Pinchpenny's
plans were being thwarted, driving him to greater heights of villainy.
In a lucky accident (and there seems to be plenty of those in the strip),
Annie's knife becomes clean enough to read the initials on it: P.P.P.
She finally begins to put everything together. Annie shows the knife
to Pinchpenny in an attemp to gauge his reaction. His reaction is in the form
of attempted murder.
When the attempted murder fails, Pinchpenny and his son take matters even
further. Rather than relying on a long distance killing with a gun, they kidnap
Annie, with the intention of pushing her over a cliff. As in many other stories,
Annie is close to death when the cavalry comes to her rescue.