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7/8/2004

The Siren Song

Howdy! 
The end of the trail often beckoned to the saddle-sore drover like the Sirens of Greek mythology. The sights and sounds of the saloons drifted over the prairie enticing the Cowboy to discover the wonders of forbidden society. The Cowboys fell into a trance as the Sirens sang from their “island” amid the sea of grass on the Kansas plain.  
In town every vice known to man was waiting. Singing and dancing were only the beginning of the journey. Dance-halls and bordellos offered the kind of companionship that could not be matched by trail hands or his familiar saddle hoss. Fine cigars, champagne and drink of every kind were brought in from the east by the railroad. That same railroad made it possible for Texas cattle to be shipped to the large eastern cities.  
Horse racing and gaming created a carnival-like atmosphere. A form of bowling, called Ten Pens was a favorite pastime. Gamblers filled the saloons offering the chance to actually MAKE money while be entertained. Of course, the often unsophisticated Cowboy seldom walked away from a game with extra money in his pocket.  
But, the possibility of winnings were hard to escape. Of all the games that were played Faro was one that could capture a young man’s attention and hold him at the table for hours on end. It was an intriguing game that pitted a man against “The House”. All he had to do was guess which cards were about to be drawn from the deck! The activity came to be known as “Buckin’ The Tiger”. 
Want to try yer hand at this old frontier amusement? Well, sir, now ya can!! Imagine for a moment that you’ve jest driven a herd of cattle to Wichita, Kansas and you come into town to “see the elephant”. Click http://www.gleeson.us and step into the gambling hall to play Wichita Faro. The dealer will set ya up with $100 (imaginary money) and soon the cards are flyin’! That ol’ rinky tink piano echoes through the din of voices. You kin almost smell the smoke in the air! GREAT FUN!! One word of warning… Time will fly away as the cards shuffle and reshuffle. More than one herd of cattle went straying as the Cowboys whiled away their time over the green cloth in the gambling hells at the end of the trail. 
So Long, 
The Cowboy 

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