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Aboard his yacht The Roamer , author Jack London recounts his lifelong struggle with alcoholism. At age five, as a California farmboy, Jack drinks some beer from an overflowing pail intended for his father and falls down drunk. Several times during his youth he has encounters with drunkenness, while a San Francisco newsboy, an oyster pirate, an explorer, and a seal hunter. Jack's staunchest supporter is his black nursemaid. Eventually Jack meets and marries Haydee, who helps him overcome his addiction.