The myth of the cowboy is powerful in American folklore, but the real life of the cowboy was hard, lonely, and rewarding, if one was seeking the less tangible rewards of being close to nature. The modern cowboy or ranch hand uses different methods but works the land with the same love as the icons of the Old West did. John Lincoln went from bookkeeper to president of the Matador Cattle Company, and his view along the way to the top plus his digging into the company founder's files provide the basis for this look at one modern ranching enterprise and its workers. The founder of the Matador Cattle Company was Fred Koch, who built up a large, successful engineering firm, and with its financial rewards began to fulfill his dreams of ranching by purchasing prime ranch properties in Kansas, Montana, Texas, and Wyoming. Upon Fred Koch's death, his sons Charles and David took over the family businessKoch Industries, Inc.and it became one of the wealthiest family-owned companies in the nation. Lincoln provides an entertaining and humorous view of modern ranch life in his stories of individuals who have lived this life in the employ of the Koch family and of the day-to-day activities on several of the largest ranches in the Matador Cattle Company. His love for the land and its caretakers comes through in his words and urges that anyone with dedication and willingness to work hard can live close to beauty and nature by working on a ranch.