Bent Tree Boys is a Red Dead Redemption posse.
About the Gang
The gang’s history is one written in blood and blurred by whiskey. Formed on the banks of the mighty Black Warrior River in the heartland of Alabama, the Bent Tree Boys were renowned for their lust of fame, riches, and violence. Their only redeemable quality would seem to be their unquenchable thirst for fine liquor and exquisite women, but even that remains suspect at times.
The Bent Tree Boys began their deluge of debauchery when one of the founding members, Josue La Astucia, had a run-in with local authorities after becoming riotously intoxicated with some Puerto Ricans. After throwing every bottle at his disposal at the deputies, Josue was overcome and taken to the town jailhouse to await trial. When news of Josue’s arrest reached the other original members, “Loco” Zorro and Chunns of Anarchy, they hatched a plan to bust their comrade out of captivity. While their intentions were commendable and their drive strong, there was one problem--as with most decisions made by the Bent Tree Boys, this one was fueled by nothing more than tequila and a strong desire to blow something up.
As Loco Zorro and Chunns approached the jailhouse, Chunn’s agave-driven bravado got the better of him and he began yelling incoherent strings of obscenities at the deputies within the jailhouse. Upon hearing the commotion outside, the deputies gathered their firearms and ran out into the night. No man could have been prepared for what they saw: both Zorro and Chunns had stripped down to nothing more than sombreros and bandoleers, waving Molotov cocktails wildly in each of their hands, and were charging atop their burros straight toward the front door. The deputies became hysterical and scattered at the sight of what they could only assume to be their drunk and naked harbingers of death. In all of the chaos, Loco and Chunn’s burros became confused and smashed into the side of the building, knocking Josue’s would-be rescuers unconscious in a heap outside.
As fate would have it, the fourth founding member, Capital Gains Janes, had been kicked out of the nearby brothel for attempting to steal the piano and was wandering around the town in a drunken stupor singing his favorite Danish drinking songs. When he saw the two unconscious Bent Tree Boys, he vaguely recalled that he was supposed to be in on the escape attempt. He sauntered over, woke his two fallen comrades, had another drink and then freed their incarcerated colleague. All four rode off into the night, ended up in Mexico, and none of them could remember how they got there the next morning.
So the story of the Bent Tree Boys begins…
Joining the Posse
Due to the dubious proclivities of the gang, it is advised not to approach any member unannounced as their indulgences have rendered them paranoid and prone to unstable "episodes." As a testament to their unpredictable nature and edginess due to their rampant alcoholism, it is widely believed that Loco Zorro once shot his own mother (she got better) when she surprised him on his birthday while he was drinking at his favorite watering hole. To wit, it just so happened that his favorite "watering hole" was named Helen, and Loco isn't very fond of surprises. Josue was disgusted at his friend’s behavior and indiscretion but soon forgave him and dropped the issue outright after Josue accidentally shot his cousin in a game of horseshoes.
Reputed Appearances in History
Spanish American War
While there is no concrete evidence of their involvement with the sinking of the USS Maine, some have said that the Bent Tree Boys were seen in Havana, Cuba in mid February of 1898. They had come to Cuba to celebrate Capital Gains Janes’ recent acquisition of a sugarcane plantation in a game of high stakes poker; however, after an excessive night of heavy drinking, the Bent Tree Boys robbed the hotel they were staying at in Havana, stole the local magistrate’s horses, and rode to the harbor with the law hot on their heels. Mistaking the Maine for their passenger ship home, the gang boarded the ship and proceeded to light their victory cigars in celebration of another escape from the law. Realizing that the ship they were on was not actually a passenger vessel, they discarded their cigars and disembarked. Moments later, the ship exploded and sank to the bottom of the harbor.
Upon re-entry to the United States, it should be noted that Capital Gains Janes sold his claim to the sugarcane plantation for what was at the time the world’s largest frying pan. He never regretted his decision.
After the sinking of the USS Maine and the U.S.’s resultant war with Spain, the Bent Tree Boys went to New Orleans in attempt to distance themselves from any implication in the matter. One evening while playing cards with Chinese immigrants in a seedier part of town, Capital Gains Janes won a hand that would eventually change the course of history.
Janes was not known for his marksmanship or his horsemanship due to his volcanic opium smoking habit. Nightly abuse had made him shaky and unbalanced yet despite all of these pitfalls, the man simply could not be stopped, especially in a game of cards. Capital Gains won a rather robust supply of his poison of choice and the four Bent Tree Boys proceeded to chase the dragon into the ungodly hours of early morning. Upon waking the next day, the four of them found themselves in familiar territory—right back in Cuba.
Fearing the worst, the four proceeded to drink themselves into oblivion in hopes of escaping their immediate debacle by blind luck. Fortunately, they happened upon the U.S. Army as they were advancing on San Juan. The Bent Tree Boys, feeling partially responsible for the whole ordeal anyway, picked up arms and travelled with their new comrades in hopes of redeeming what little honor they had left. However, in their barely functioning states, the Bent Tree Boys had actually signed on with the Spanish Army and were on their way to defend the strategically critical city of Santiago from the U.S. assault.
As the battle raged on and the Bent Tree Boys began to sober up, they began to wonder why their attackers were speaking English. After taking heavy suppressing fire, the Bent Tree Boys were forced to fall back to a small trench that ran along the ridge of San Juan Hill. Confused and somewhat crestfallen, and with their supply of booze and narcotics at dangerous, record lows, they prepared for the end in the only way they knew how. However, as fate would dictate, then-Colonel Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders managed to burst through the Spanish Army's lines and march up the hill in which the Bent Tree Boys had entrenched themselves. Much to Roosevelt's dismay he found the four belligerent and dehydrated Americans hunkered together in a small foxhole, sharing a half-shattered bottle of sangria and the dying embers of what used to be a cigar. Roosevelt congratulated the hung-over crew for making it up the hill in their dilapidated state and recommended them all for Bronze Stars, unaware that the constantly-inebriated-four had actually, albeit unknowingly, been plying their "trade" for Spain.
It is rumored that after the taking of Santiago, the Bent Tree Boys and Roosevelt commandeered a U.S. supply ship, filled the ballasts with rum, and took over half the local female population of the city on the world’s first “booze cruise”. Upon landing state-side, much of the Cubans settled in southern Florida, laying the foundation of the Miami we know today, and one of the incredibly few times that the Bent Tree Boys ever apologized for any of their actions.
Unfortunately for the Bent Tree Boys, they never received their Bronze Stars due to sleeping through the award ceremony a few days later.
An interesting side note to the story is to how "Teddy" Roosevelt began wearing a monocle. After the success of the "booze cruise" (with the exception of Miami), Roosevelt found much in common with his new compatriots, most notably Josue. He even went as far as to offer a place on his cabinet for him after he was elected President. Josue accepted, but only under the consideration that he have the title of "Boubon Czar." Upon hearing of his brother's new accomodations, "Loco", whether it was in a fit of jealously or just a fitting example of his namesake, took Josue's glasses and snapped them in half, giving Josue and Roosevelt a lens and half a frame each so that they may "see each other only half as rosy as they pretend."
Josue is said to have vomited a whiskey-induced cackle at this action/remark, while Roosevelt took it to heart, and wore the eye-piece for the rest of his tenure.