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|Hold it right there, outlaw!|
This article is littered with spoilers, so I reckon you might ought'a mosey on down the road if you don't want to read any plot details.
John Marston comes across an elderly man named Billy West, picking flowers on the side of the road. The man wants to give his wife, Annabel, a bouquet for their 50th anniversary. He asks for Marston's help in gathering the flowers.
Before this Stranger will appear on the world map, the player must complete:
After speaking with Billy West, the player must:
- Collect 3 Wild Feverfew that grow in and around Hennigan's Stead.
- Collect 3 Red Sage that grow in and around Río Bravo.
- Collect 3 Desert Sage that grow in and around Gaptooth Ridge.
- Return to Billy.
He needs three units of Wild Feverfew, Red Sage and Desert Sage. Wild Feverfew grow around Hennigan's Stead, Red Sage near Rio Bravo, and Desert Sage grow out west near Gaptooth Ridge. Collect three of each to make a bouquet for Billy and bring them to his cabin later.
After giving the flowers to Billy, he invites you into his cabin and insists you try his wife's tea. Upon entering, you discover that Annabel is a long-dead dessicated corpse, left to rot in a chair. It is quite possible Billy is in extreme denial that his wife is even dead at all. When Billy asks Marston again to stay for the tea, Marston says "Sorry, but I have an appointment with planet Earth" and walks away.
Tips and Tricks
- In General Stores in MacFarlane's Ranch, Armadillo, Thieves' Landing and Blackwater, you can buy a Survivalist Map, which lets you see all herbs on your mini-map for 20 minutes (or 40 minutes after completion of survivalist rank 5). Buy one of these as it will decrease the time it takes you to complete the task drastically.
- This is the first Stranger side-mission that becomes available to the player, since it becomes available after the main storyline mission "New Friends, Old Problems".
- It is possible to go behind the house on horseback and see Annabel in her entirety through either the window or gap in the wall. Annabel is clearly dead when viewed like this.
- If played as Jack Marston, Billy will still say he and Annabel have been married for 50 years, despite the actual year being 1914, thus they would have been married 53 years.
- If you re-enter the cabin and bump against the corpse, its head will fall off. If Billy witnesses this, he will be shocked and say something about it.
- If you return after a day or two, Billy will be outside talking either about the tea or another general invite into the house. However, Annabel is nowhere to be seen. Her rocking chair can also be seen outside the house with no corpse.
- The corpse is somewhat reminiscent of the 1960 film Psycho, in which a delusional son believes his mother to be alive after her death and keeps her hidden from the world, leaving her corpse in a rocking chair. The hair of Annabel is similar to the mother's.
- The story is hauntingly similar to William Faulkner's 1930 short story "A Rose for Emily".
- If the mission is started as John but finished by Jack, Billy will say "You look like a man who passed by here a couple years ago".
- If you put on subtitles and initiate the quest as Jack Marston, the subtitle will have a spelling mistake in it. When Jack says "Well, that very kind of you." the subtitles read "r/Well, thats very kind of you." It can be assumed it is just a coding prefix that was overlooked during production.
- Annabel's blackbird pie may be a reference to the well-known English nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence".
- After you've completed the mission, if you run into the shelves behind Annabel, her head falls off.
- Strangely, even though John never gives his name, and Billy refers to him as stranger at the beginning of the ending cutscene, at the end of the same cutscene as John is walking out the door, Billy refers to him by name.
Complete a task for a Stranger.
Complete 15 tasks for Strangers.
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.