A-B-C's of Western Lore
audiobook (Unabridged) ∣ Old West Tales You Haven't Heard or Didn't Believe
By John Rayburn
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If you happen to be a fan of some of the actual or fictional stories of the wild and wooly American West in the nineteenth century, you might as well know that a lot of it was made up of cheap, sensational material that was often a pack of lies created by the vivid imagination of the writers. It was their way of drawing enough attention that they could sell their articles to magazines or elsewhere.
In spite of the verbal skullduggery, this fabricated output became a force in shaping the myths of the Old West. This dated back to primarily after the end of the Civil War, a time that almost tore a new nation apart. However, because of the hardship of life on the frontier, it brought forth a great deal of believability. The sometimes spurious creativity was accompanied by much in the way of fact.
Some of the notorious individuals often had more or less two-sided lives. Many of them served as lawmen at one level or another, ranging from sheriffs, to marshals, to military leaders and the like.
Part of our title should probably be Always Beware of Cowboys. That's because so many of the illegal gunfighters started out that way. The reasons for doing so are at least a trifle understood. They worked hard on ranches with such jobs as putting in fences or repairing those already in, herding cattle, breaking broncos, reaping and stacking hay, et al, all during long, hard days with little or no rest, occasional sparse food, and low-scale wages. They saw how desperados managed to win, finagle, or steal cash, go into town when they wanted, and get all the booze they needed. There were bound to be thoughts of "Why them? Why not me?" We'll listen to part of what took place in those bygone days.