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From Chapter 1: "A friend has sent me a new book, from England--The Shakespeare Problem Restated--well restated and closely reasoned; and my fifty years' interest in that matter--asleep for the last three years--is excited once more. It is an interest which was born of Delia Bacon's book--away back in that ancient day--1857, or maybe 1856.About a year later my pilot-master, Bixby, transferred me from his own steamboat to the Pennsylvania, and placed me under the orders and instructions of George Ealer--dead now, these many, many years. I steered for him a good many months--as was the humble duty of the pilot-apprentice: stood a daylight watch and spun the wheel under the severe superintendence and correction of the master. He was a prime chess player and an idolater of Shakespeare. He would play chess with anybody; even with me, and it cost his official dignity something to do that. "

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