In these jokes the established codes of the west were observed with due respect. The punchers in the camp never knew if the stranger in their midst was a drifting puncher “on the square” or a dangerous criminal with a very itchy trigger finger. Regardless of the identity of the visitor, he was always welcome to share the dugout. If he arrived at the dugout when no rider was there, he helped himself to what food he needed, washed his dishes, slept in the dugout if he wished, and went his way. If the camper was there, no personal questions were asked of the stranger, and he volunteered only such information about himself as he cared to disclose. If the visitor was an acquaintance of the camper or campers, the evening took a more affable aspect with practical jokes, possibly a game of cards, and much exchanging of ideas or experiences.
From The Camp Life of a Cowpuncher by Carroll Doshier as told by Jim Christian