Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Code of The Old West

"The Code of the West was a gentleman's agreement to certain rules of conduct. It was never written into the statutes, but it was respected everywhere on the range. "
-- Ramon F. Adams

1) Don't inquire into a person's past. Take the measure of a man for what he is today.
Never steal another man's horse. A horse thief pays with his life.
Defend yourself whenever necessary.
Look out for your own.
Remove your guns before sitting at the dining table.
Never order anything weaker than whiskey.
Don't make a threat without expecting dire consequences.
Never pass anyone on the trail without saying "Howdy".

2) When approaching someone from behind, give a loud greeting before you get within shooting range.
Don't wave at a man on a horse, as it might spook the horse. A nod is the proper greeting.
After you pass someone on the trail, don't look back at him. It implies you don't trust him.
Riding another man's horse without his permission is nearly as bad as making love to his wife. Never even bother another man's horse.

3) Always fill your whiskey glass to the brim
Do not practice ingratitude.
A cowboy is pleasant even when out of sorts. Complaining is what quitters do, and cowboys hate quitters.

4) Always be courageous. Cowards aren't tolerated in any outfit worth its salt.
A cowboy always helps someone in need, even a stranger or an enemy.

5) Never try on another man's hat.

6) Be hospitable to strangers. Anyone who wanders in, including an enemy, is welcome at the dinner table. The same was true for riders who joined cowboys on the range.
Give your enemy a fighting chance.
Never wake another man by shaking or touching him, as he might wake suddenly and shoot you.

7) Real cowboys are modest. A braggert who is "all gurgle and no guts" is not tolerated.
A cowboy doesn't talk much; he saves his breath for breathing.
No matter how weary and hungry you are after a long day in the saddle, always tend to your horse's needs before your own, and get your horse some feed before you eat.

8) Cuss all you want, but only around men, horses and cows.
Complain about the cooking and you become the cook.
Always drink your whiskey with your gun hand, to show your friendly intentions.

9) Be there for a friend when he needs you.
Drinking on duty is grounds for instant dismissal and blacklisting.

10) A cowboy is loyal to his "brand," to his friends, and those he rides with.
Never shoot an unarmed or unwarned enemy. This was also known as "the rattlesnake code": always warn before you strike. However, if a man was being stalked, this could be ignored.

11) Never shoot a woman no matter what.

12) Consideration for others is central to the code, such as: Don't stir up dust around the chuckwagon, don't wake up the wrong man for herd duty, etc.
Respect the land and the environment by not smoking in hazardous fire areas, disfiguring rocks, trees, or other natural areas.
Honesty is absolute - your word is your bond, a handshake is more binding than a contract.

13) Live by the Golden Rule.

Visitors and Thursday Thirteen Paerticipants will be linked here if they say "Howdy" and leave a comment. 1) Pop culture Dish 2) Enjoying The Ride 3) A Gentleman's Domain 4) On A Limb With Claudia 5) My Irrationalities 6) Puss Re Boots 7) From A Lofty Perch 8) The Pink Flamingo 9) Mister Anchovy 10) Betty The Geek 11) Nichtszusagen 12) NBR's Spot 13) State Of Confusion 14) Double Decker Buses 15) Fond of Photography 15) Cajun Vegan 16) A Blog About Nowt 17) Four Dinners 18) It's All Good 19)


Malcolm said...

Nice topic this week. Some of their ways may have been primitive, but the cowboys had a lot of common sense, honor, and a sense of fair play. Although I liked many of these codes, the one I enjoyed the best was the one that says "Complain about the cooking and you become the cook."

I was hoping for at least one hot cowgirl pic... but I guess I can't have everything. :-)

jenn said...

Great list.
Happy tt!

Anonymous said...

A very interesting list. It would be nice to think that something like this was actually the code in the old west, but I suspect that cowboy life was more like Deadwood than Bonanza.

Open Grove Claudia said...

Boy, I'm not sure that's just the code of the "old" west. I think it's still in effect in Denver.

Shesawriter said...

"Cuss all you want, but only around men, horses and cows."

I'll try to remember that. LOL!

Candy Minx said...

Malcolm...I'm adding a sexy girl cow poke right now.

Hi Jenn!

Nicholas, yes, I think you are probably correct...this might have been the code after the turn of last century likely. I LOVE DEADWOOD by the way!

Open Grove...maybe a self help book could be written like the one: All I needed to learn I learned as A Cowpoke!

Shesawriter...I cuss like crazy...and most of the time I forget who might be listening!

pussreboots said...

Good advice about the horses. Happy TT.

Gardenia said...

Yippee Ki Yii - to the cowboys in your post!!!!!!!! Did someone say Deadwood?

Clever post.

SJ Reidhead said...

Interesting. I rather like Wyatt Earp's code - the mood I'm in, "I'm coming and Hell's coming with me."

The Pink Flamingo

mister anchovy said...

where is this country, where cowboys are king? I bet there are some good trout streams there.

Anonymous said...

I've met a coupla cowboys...and none of them looked like those guys LOL

Darla said...

Heck, I agree with most of that code, now. I might allow myself to order something weaker than whiskey now and again, though. :)

tweetey30 said...

I have to say I liked some of the old west shows when i was a kid but now as an adult we dont have cable so I cant watch the reruns. LOL..

Natalie said...

Fun list! :)

Come visit my Thursday Thirteen if you get a chance. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the first sentence in #1! Very true :-)

My regular blog's not feeling well today, so I'm using my photoblog to do the T13 :-)

DoubleDeckerBusGuy said...

Hmmm... I noticed a weird yet subtle change in the images as I scrolled down... :)

Anonymous said...

Speaking of cowboys, I watch 3:10 to Yuma the other evening and I fell madly in love with the double breasted off-white leather coat that was worn by the outlaw gang's second-in-command. (the guy with the weasel face) Seriously, I wanted to sleep with that jacket.

Anonymous said...

unique idea ... love the "hat" one because that is how I feel about my shoes

Stop by my Coulda Woulda Shoulda NaBloPoMo edition and vote for my next entry.

* (asterisk) said...

Another great 13, CM. Cowboys are the first role models that so many kids of my generation and older had, I think. Cowboy movies and The Lone Ranger and stuff like that. And a great example they set, too, with a strong moral code. It may be coming back through these days, but I think a whole generation missed out!


Prefer the cowgirls meself but what a great moral code. Don't think we're capable of behaving like that anymore. Sadly.

Anonymous said...

Good rules. More men (and women) should try to follow them now.

Unknown said...

I always enjoyed the code of the west, and to some degree it still exists in some areas. It is much nicer than today's know it all mindset. Of course your pics make it even better!!

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