Hank Ferguson : The Man Who Left

by Jonathan Lee

Abandons everything and never keeps his word

Hank Ferguson and his family had lived in Fort Vermilion, known as one of the poorest communities in Canada. Before Fort Vermilion, he was a con-artist, who made a living from scamming people, but he and his family ran away to the north where they later ended up in fort Vermilion. Right form the start, you know that he has the tendency to want to abandon people, such as when they have just left Edmonton for the North where Hank had thoughts about abandoning his family, and his wife suspected him to abandon them. Even though he came back, this only foreshadows that the hard life in Fort vermilion might have been enough to push him over the edge to abandon his family, as seen later.

Life as a Con-Artist

Life as a con-artist meant that it was not an honest living, and that he would occasionally have to abandon home in case the law was after him and his family. In many cases and situations in the story, Hank goes and uses his skills as a con - artist to work his way around to get people to do his bidding, and then later leave them with nothing as he has his own profits, which is also known as a confidence trick. This is seen throughout the story, such as when he first applies to the teaching position at the Peace River School District, and later uses it to get out of situations such as that family that helped the Ferguson family when their Mercury Zephyr car broke down. In the case of the family that helped them out, he promised to come back to them later in the future with some sort of compensation for their support, but he just turned around and never came back to them, essentially abandoning them. This shows that he definitely had the capability to abandon anyone, without having much emotional backlash from it.

Abandoning His Family

When Hank later loses his job due to the school board discovering that he has no qualifications to teach, he decides to go to Regina to earn a degree for teaching at the University of Saskatchewan so he can become a legitimate teacher. However, he and Louise got into fights all the time, and it only began to get worse and worse. Eventually, he just gave up on acting as a good husband and a father, and ultimately gives up on his family and abandons them. They return to Fort Vermilion while he remains in Regina, and only stopped by to drop off their new sibling, and after his children would not see him for at least another decade.