|After the chuck wagon cook had cleaned the dishes,
put away the food, and the night herders were on their mounts, the camp
fire was stoked and the cowhands would linger around the fire. At the rear
of the chuck wagon, they would tell stories, read, dance, or listen to fiddle
music. [See the photograph The Boys of the LS Near Tascosa (LC S59-110),
which shows cowhands telling stories around the fire.]
Cowhands who worked as line riders spent many lonely days and nights, so they read everything from classics to adventure stories, often over and over again. Cowboys also entertained themselves by playing card games such as mumble-the-peg, seven-up, and hearts. When cowhands went to town, they might go to a dance, but most likely they would head to the saloon to celebrate.After the trail drive or roundup was complete, cowhands followed a ritual similar to what Bruce Dillman describes in The Cowboy Handbook.