For Hank, Sam never became Mark Twain. As a riverboat pilot, Sam saved young Hank from the crushing paddle wheels as the boy stowed away on the City of Memphis. Sam returned Hank to Minnesota when news reached downriver that Hank's mother was on trial for killing the father Hank had run away from. Years later, in a barber's chair prior to his mother's funeral, Hank reads a frog story that's awful close to a tall tale Sam once told. The magazine claims it's written by a fellow named Mark Twain.
THE ADVENTURES OF HANK FENN (Americana #4) sends Hank searching the West—and then the East—for Mr. Twain. All along he and Sam exchange letters and make plans that never seem to get them together—Twain always on the road or abroad. Hank does find hatred and brutality while railroading and mining throughout this new frontier. He finds Calamity Jane in a Wyoming mining camp and Custer breaking treaties. He finds the Emperor of these United States. Ultimately Hank finds love, boys to raise and gold to unearth on a Black Hills mountaintop.