“The Professor’s Yarn” is another great Mark Twain title. The narrator is a professor but at the time of the story he is telling (that’s the “yarn” part) he is not a professor and the fact that he is a professor has nothing to do with the story.
The yarn itself has the not-yet professor on a ship to California. I’m not sure of his point of departure or whether he has been on a ship the entire trip or only the last part of it. But all of that doesn’t really matter as a new acquaintance with a lot of money gets involved with a group of gamblers. The narrator is concerned that his new friend will get too involved with “that confounded nest of rascality.”
Determining who cheats who makes the plot classic Twain and makes the reader want to keep on reading.