Listing the great unsung heroes of the latter half of the Cape Age, we would be remiss if we did not mention Hank Smith. This unassuming Utah farm boy was the first to establish a pay-to-protect business with his company Masqueraders, Inc.. They contracted such lesser-known heroes as Nobody, The Modern Samson, Western Cracker (a name that in later years he assured his biographer was designed with only the sound of a gunshot in mind), and – perhaps most curiously – a sharpshooting heroine named Two Gun Gal. Her inclusion in the roster befuddles only when one knows the great secret of Masqueraders, Inc.: that all its constituent heroes were, in actuality, Hank Smith himself.
With a face forgettable enough to blend into any crowd but a wit quick enough to mask the fact that he had no powers whatsoever other than being a relatively good shot, Smith was one of the most versatile and – for obvious reasons – unrecognizable heroes of the Nineteen Seventies. Perhaps his most memorable achievement (other than dubious claims of ridding the White House of an ant infestation, allowing him to take the photo with Jimmy Carter presented on the following page) was the night he defused a hostage situation at a minor league hockey game in Provo, Utah. He so thoroughly disguised himself as a baby stroller that one of the would-be hostage-takers was quoted as saying, “That baby’s voice was cute enough that I’s about to kitchee-koo his little chin until I seen the snub-nose under the ducky bib.”
That night earned Smith the key to the city and continued popular goodwill until Nineteen Eighty-Three, when he discharged his revolvers at two preteenage boys, mistaking the sticks they were pointing at each other and their grandfather for actual weapons. After Nineteen Eighty-Seven, Smith was never seen publicly again. Beloved author Jane Pattinson wrote of Hank Smith that “he was his best self when he was someone else. And he was his happiest self when he was Two-Gun Gal.”
Reports of a mysterious blonde woman in the vicinity of his Provo home in the Nineteen Nineties are – as of this writing – unconfirmed.