The cowboy of the American West,
a dashing figure in popular novels and films, was in reality
a poorly paid laborer engaged in difficult and usually monotonous
work. Working up to 20 hours a day, cowboys drove the animals
from one watering place to the next, guarding against predators,
straying cattle, and stampedes at night. For his hard and dirty
work the typical cowboy earned between $25 and $40 a month.