The cowboy was usually in his late teens. He worked up to 14 hours a day, for about $25. --$30. a month. On trail, he slept on the ground with his saddle as a pillow, ate plenty of beans and biscuits, and drank strong six-shooter coffee. After about 6 or 7 years in the saddle, the cowboy got burned out and found another job. He worked outside in all kinds of weather. The cowboy carried no watch yet knew when it was time to come in for supper or time to go out for night watch. Most could not swim, so the river crossings presented a fear unknown to us today. He had a good appreciation for humor and could tell a long -winded tale which left everyone laughing until their sides hurt. The cowboy dealt with Indians, stampeding cattle, weather, and rustlers -- all in a day's work. The cowboy's job was far from glamorous, yet today he still invokes a spirit of freedom and adventure of the Old West.
I hope you readers will enjoy learning about the life of the cowboy, riding the Chisholm Trail, the Johnson County War in Wyoming, and the Cherokee Outlet and Run.
If the cowboy was the hero of the West, then the Indian's story was of a tragic figure as depicted in my first novel, Journey of the Cheyenne Warrior. Brave Eagle's life as a warrior in the early 1800's on the plains was truly a simple life of nature and freedom and peace--except when they fought each other, usually for horses. They did not covet the land but merely lived on it and with it. The white man came onto the plains and changed everything. The Native Americans had to decide how best to live with the ever-increasing white men. They could fight them or accept their rules. Either way, they lost. The brave warrior with feathers in his black hair, painted body and face, wearing a fringed and beaded war shirt and leggings, beautifully beaded moccasins, carrying his war shield and bow and arrows, and seated on his pony was just as powerful an image of the American West.
Cowboys and Indian are both an important part of America's unique history.