The famous collection of Ilf and Petrov created the inimitable rogue and confidence man, Ostap Bender, whose adventures, with their frequent satiric thrusts at Soviet life, have become classics of Russian comic literature. In the first novel, The Twelve Chairs (1928), Bender searches for a hoard of jewels concealed in a set of dining-room chairs. In the second, The Little Golden Calf (1931), set in the Soviet Union under the first Five-Year Plan, Bender tries hard but fails to become a millionaire. A six-month car trip in 1935--36 through the United States resulted in a witty travelogue. The collaboration was broken by Ilf's untimely death from tuberculosis. Petrov was killed in a plane crash while working as a war correspondent.