This chapter shows that cowboys performed public rituals that displayed their masculinity through drinking, gambling, and fighting. But as more settlers moved into the region and as the cattlemen built houses in town for their families, the towns developed other economic interests as well as social values. They began with moral legislation, the so-called blue laws, but also gave regular lectures to the cowboys in the newspapers about proper behavior. When these lectures did not work, they tried to ridicule the cowboys in a variety of ways, suggesting that their unrestrained behavior was less than manly. As the cowboys became marginal to the lives of the town, they became subjects of humor and were relegated to the status of oddity or criminal. The cowboy thus became a pariah in the cow towns he had helped build.
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