The following story leads up to the events of Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies. It is the story of Moses Forth and Seth Briars and the events that lead up to Moses stealing part of Seth's map, hiding it in Odd Fellow's Rest, his arrest, and his transportation to Benedict Point.
Two men were talking to eachother one day in a dark, old, abandoned church known commonly as Coot's Chapel. One man was a disgusting man who couldn't stand up straight. He looked like a sick maniac and a low-life. His hair was falling out. He wore a ragged old hat and lacked personal hygiene. His hands were covered in over a month's worth of dirt and his clothes were worn out and filthy. A foul odor followed him around like a steer tied to a moving wagon. He carried an old knife in a dirty leather sheath on his belt. He also had a rusty, worn out old handgun tucked in his waistband. It was a Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver which had a Richards-Mason conversion, allowing it to fire .38 Long Colt cartridges. It had an oxidized brass trigger guard, front strap, and back strap and old, cracked, busted up wooden grips. The other man was much cleaner. He had a little goatee on his chin and his clothes were much nicer than his comrade's. He wore a leather pistol belt with a cross-draw holster which housed a well oiled, .36 caliber Colt Paterson percussion revolver with walnut grips. He had a powder horn hanging from his belt as well and pouch that contained the percussion caps and the projectiles for his gun. He had a shoulder bag he wore with several tools in it including the kit he needed to load the weapon. The filthy man's name was Seth Briars and the clean man's name was Moses Forth. The two men were sitting in the pews. "Seth," Moses sighed. "Why did we have to become grave robbers? Their hardly is any loot in them graves we exhume. What exactly do you expect to find?"
Seth chuckled. "If you had asked me in the past I wouldn't have had an answer," Seth snickered pulling two old, folded up pieces of paper. "Today I came across a map. It was in the "unknown" grave here at Coot's Chapel. The epitaph said that the poor fella "came lookin' fer gold but found only lead." I had a gut feeling that there might be something useful in the grave and I found this tore up old map. Lucky for me I found both pieces, and as long as I can keep up with these two halves we may be able to find the treasure the man was a-lookin' fer. What d'ya think, Moses?" Seth unfolded the two pieces of the map and showed them to Moses. Moses looked at them carefully. He was excited, but he didn't show it. "Well hell," Moses said. "If ya reckon that map will lead us to a fortune, then by God we best follow it." Seth began to jump with joy. He leaned over to Moses and attempted to hug him. Moses immediatley pushed him away, almost vomiting after smelling Seth's filthy carcass. "Before we can hunt that treasure though," Seth said calming himself. "We need to make sure that nobody else is able to gets it before us. Alot of treasure hunters have been pouring into Cholla Springs here. We has to keeps this a secret. I hates them damn treasure hunters and if any of them sons of bitches get it before us I might kill myself. I know you wouldn't want that, would ya darlin'?" Moses felt sick. He hated it when Seth called him "darling". He didn't care how close they were in the past. Seth had turned into a disgusting shell of a man and all that they had before was lost. Moses only partnered with Seth because there was a whore in the Armadillo Saloon that Moses wanted to impress and he figured that if he could get rich he would be able make her fall for him. "I won't blab to nobody," Moses replied. "I have to go someplace Seth. I'll be back." Moses sprang out of his seat and bolted to the door. He put his hat on his head after exiting the building, mounted his mare, and rode off toward Armadillo. It was near sunset when he reached Armadillo. He teathered his horse outside the saloon and went inside. Strolling up to the bar, he slapped a silver dollar down on the wooden surface. "May I see Claire?" he asked politely. The bartender chuckled and called for the prostitute to come to her visitor. Claire Draper, a fair, blonde woman with blue eyes came over to Moses. She had large breasts, a nice figure, and well-shaped limbs. Her lips were lush, and soft. She had smooth skin and wore nothing but a tight braw, a short skirt, and high-heeled shoes. Moses lost self-control and swiftly wrapped his arms around her and kissed her on the lips. Claire was suprised. Moses was ashamed of himself. He had showned no manners at all. "I'm sorry, Ma'am," he groaned. "I didn't mean to....yer just so pretty...I.." Claire was blushing. "It's fine," she giggled. "Wanna go up stairs?" Moses blushed that time. "Sure," he stuttered. He was really excited. This fine specimen of a female had caused him to aquire a "hard-on" and he had a feelin' she knew and wanted to take a gander at it. They started toward the stairs when a gun suddenly went off behind them near the bar. They turned to look at the man who did it. He was a white man with short, black hair and a large mustache. He was armed with a Colt Single Action Army "Frontier Six-Shooter" and appeared to be a member of the Walton's Gang. "I wanted to screw just a minute ago and you refused to ya bitch," the man said. "I'll blow yer little lover's head off and show you what happens when a whore like you refuses to give me what I want." He cocked the gun. Moses became angry. The Colt Paterson left Moses' holster in a flash. The report of the revolver rang out across the room. The man fell backward as he held his chest. His gun went off into the ceiling and he hit the ground lifeless in a split second. Moses holsterd the old hogleg and spat on the corpse. He felt lucky that he had hit the man as he wasn't a gunslinger and hardly ever practiced shooting. It usually took him three or four shots to hit his target. "Now," he said. "Where were we?" He grinned as he put his arm around Claire and took her upstairs to her room. The loud creaking of the old bed had completely shut out the noise below in the saloon. After about thirty minutes or so Moses had finished his session with Claire and layed down in bed cuddling her. Their clothes were scattered on the floor and Moses' Colt remained in it's holster laying on the end table next to Claire's bed. "Thanks again for saving me from that outlaw scum today," Claire said kissing Moses. "You are a real man. I'm all yours if you want me." Moses smiled. "I can make you happy ya know," Moses said while grasping Claire's uncovered breast. "My friend found a treasure map today. If I can find that treasure I'll make all your dreams come true. I'll marry ya and devote my life to keepin' ya happy." Claire was suprised. She knew Moses was in love with her for a long time, but did not know he was a treasure hunter. She thought treasure hunters were filthy people and she hated servicing them. They were greeedy and only cared about themselves. Her gut told her that Moses would just use her as his whore if she married him. She wanted the riches that Moses spoke of though. She had a Remington Model 1866 Derringer in her chest of drawers loaded with two of the appropriate .41 Rimfire cartridges, but she didn't want to be jailed and hanged for murder. They didn't have a problem with hanging women there in Armadillo. She suddenly had a brilliant idea. She would agree to marry Moses after he finds the treasure, and she would promise to marry other treasure hunters if they killed Moses and the friend that he mentioned and got the treasure themselves. Then, she would get the treasure hunter drunk and send him on a shooting rampage. Marshal Johnson would capture the man and hang him for sure, and Claire could run away from Armadillo, find a man that she loves, marry him, and live a long, wealthy life with him in Blackwater. She kissed Moses and moaned. "I'll take you up on that offer, sweetheart," she said. Moses was happy. He got out of bed, put on his clothes and gunbelt, and walked to the door. "Seth and I will start on the quest early tomorrow morning," Moses said as he left the room. Claire got dressed and sat on the edge of her bed, proud of herself.
Seth was excited to see Moses. "What was you up to, Moses?" Seth asked. "I just got myself some extra ammunition in Armadillo in case if we might need it for our trip tomorrow," Moses replied. "We'll start the search for that treasure tomorrow." Seth shook his head. "No partner," Seth said. "Not yet. We have to make sure all of the treasure hunters are gone before we can use the map. We have to make sure no one else is lookin' for the treasure. We can't let anyone else finds it. You may have to use that gun a couple of times, but it's worth it." Moses nodded. "I understand," he said. Moses layed down in his sleeping bag outside of Coot's Chapel. He felt so stupid. He should have waited to tell Claire about the treasure.
Claire stood with her Derringer in her hand. All of the patrons in the saloon were staring in her direction. She had just fired the gun in the air to gather everyone's attention. "I know alot of you in here are treasure hunters," she said. "I have knowledge of a treasure. The man who killed one of Walton's gang members in here earlier today has a map that leads to it. I'm sure all of you that were here earlier remember him. I am offering myself to any man who can kill him and anyone who is traveling with him, take the map, find the treasure, and bring it to me. I will marry the man who does this, and be his 'whore' for as long as he lives." All of the men in the bar let out a loud "YEEEEEEEEHHHHHAAAAAWWWWWW!" All of the men in the bar at that time were there when Moses killed Walton's man. They knew what he looked like and was ready to take care of him once and for all. Two of them were U.S. Marshals, Benton Manning and Mel Thaxton. They hardly cared about the treasure, but they wanted to capture Moses. They had been tracking Moses with a warrant against him holding him responsible for all of the grave robberies that had been occuring in Cholla Springs. The reason they didn't attempt to arrest him earlier was the fact that they were to drunk to worry about it. They informed all of the treasure hunters that if they were able to arrest Moses they would allow the treasure hunters to interrogate him and get the map from him. The treasure hunters agreed to this and even let Manning and Thaxton deputize them. The posse armed themselves heavily and began their quest to find Moses.
Seth and Moses were sitting in Coot's Chapel drinking whiskey after looting several graves. There were some more for them to loot, but they were going to take a break and wait until dusk to dig up the rest. Seth decided that the best way to pass the time until they are sure that no one else is hunting the treasure is to exhume more graves. Moses was sure no one else was hunting the treasure and was eager to get it over with so he could have Claire. He could see her beautiful face in his mind. He wanted so desperately to make her happy. He knew what he needed to do. It was about ten o' clock at night. The moon was shining bright. Seth and Moses were digging up the grave of Gideon Knox. Seth and Moses weren't too eager to dig up the grave marked "Priscilla Johnson". They knew that if U.S. Marshal Leigh Johnson found out someone opened that grave, he would skin them alive. Moses didn't want to open the grave of Calvin Draper either. That was Claire's grandfather. The foul smell of Gideon Knox's corpse turned Moses' insides over. Seth patted the corpse on the head. "Evenin' to ya Mister Knox," he laughed. "Nice to see ya, but I reckon ya needs a bath." Moses glared at Seth. He was filled with rage. Seth was a crazy bastard now and there was no reason for Moses to be working with him. Moses drew his Colt Paterson and cocked it. The gun was pointed right at Seth's head. "Moses," Seth said. "Put that thing away. Ya might shoot someone's eye out." Moses became even more angry. "I'll shoot yer fuckin' brain out if you don't give me the map, Seth!" Moses barked. Seth was so shocked at Moses that he completely forgot about his own gun being tucked in his belt. Moses took Seth's Colt Navy away from him and threw it in the bushes. "Give me the map, Seth," Moses hissed. "NOW!" Seth stood still. Moses hit Seth in the face and reached in Seth's pocket for the two pieces of the map. He yanked the map out and stuffed it in his pocket. He held his gun on Seth as he ran to his horse. Seth dove into the bushes to retrieve his revolver. Moses fired a shot near Seth. Seth jumped and held still. Moses holstered his Colt and rode away. Seth found his revolver after Moses had rode out of sight. Seth was angry. He tucked his revolver back into his waistband and stuffed his hands in his pockets. He suddenly realized that there was still a piece of paper in there. He pulled it out and studied it. He chuckled. "Moses, you son of a bitch," he laughed. "You only took part of the map."
Moses finished filling the grave back up with dirt. He knew exactly where to go. The map was heavily detailed and made it clear that the treasure was in Tumbleweed Mansion. Seth won't never find that map now, Moses thought to himself. He suddenly heard a dozen guns cocking behind him. "Turn around, Forth," said a voice behind him. "Real slow with yer hands up." Moses turned around slowly with his hands up. He saw the badges on the men. The two Marshals and their treasure hunting posse had caught up with him. "Drop yer gunbelt," Manning said. "Do it, sinner!" Moses loosened his gunbelt and let it drop. "Why me?" Moses groaned. Mel Thaxton and Benton Manning got off their horses and handcuffed Moses. "Lay him on Abraham," Manning said to Mel. Mel layed Moses across the back of Abraham, Manning's horse. "You get the smelly end," Thaxton laughed. The irons on Moses' wrists were rusted and falling apart. With one swift jerk he was able to pull them apart, thus freeing himself. He pulled Manning's Colt Single Action Army out of his holster and tumbled off the horse. Manning turned around and Moses shot him. The bullet hit Manning in the badge. Manning survived and managed to pull his Winchester Carbine out of it's scabbard and disarm Moses. Seth rode up suddenly and saw Manning grab Moses. Seth wanted to pull his gun and shoot Moses, but he was curious to see what was going on. Manning picked his Colt off of the ground and holstered it. "Tie him up with a good rope," Manning said. "Make sure it's tight. Now Moses, you are under arrest. Do you not understand that? We're gonna take ya to Benedict Point." Seth heard everything Manning said. "Oh no ya won't," Seth mumbled. "Not 'til I get my map." Mel Thaxton tied Moses up and put him back on Manning's horse, his rear facing in Seth's direction. Seth drew his Colt Navy and cocked it. He was hoping to hit Moses in the rear or one of his legs so he couldn't run away. Seth fired the gun. Seth's Colt Navy was worn out and didn't work perfectly. Seth never was a good shot, and he was shooting from long range. Seth was too angry to think about this, however. Though he was aiming for Moses, he hit one of the posse members in the gut. Manning, Thaxton, and the rest of the posse turned and fired at Seth. "Oh shit! You slippery bastards!" Seth shouted as the posse fired at him. He rode away angry. The posse member was holding the wound in his gut. "He murdered me," the man cried. "Manning, help me. Please. Please!" Manning fired his Winchester at the dying man. The bullet struck him in right between the eyes and came out the back of his head. "I'm sorry, Horace," Manning groaned. "Giddyup, Abraham!" The posse rode on to Benedict Point.
Seth had ridden back to Coot's Chapel. A few days had passed and Seth was back to digging up graves again. He was looking through the grave of Josephine Byrd. He was hoping to find something worth atleast a handful of coins. He was paying no mind to his surroundings when all of a sudden he heard a voice behind him say, "Excuse me, are you Seth?" Seth turned around startled. He saw a tall man wearing a pair of worn out cowboy boots and spurs, a pair of dusty pin-stripe trousers with a patch sewed onto the knee of his right pants leg, a buscadero style gunbelt with a Colt Single Action Army revolver chambered for .32-20 Winchester Center Fire in the holster and the .32-20 rounds in the loops, a tan shirt with the sleeves roled up to his elbows, a regular leather belt with a nicely engraved belt buckle, a black denim vest with the sleeves removed and several stiches, two black riding glooves on each hand, a bandolier around his upper body along with a sling for holding his Winchester Model 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine, and a black gambler style cowboy hat. He had long hair and a beard with scars on the right side of his face. "Who are you?" Seth asked a little nervously. "I'm a friend of Mr. West Dickens," the man replied. "The name's Marston. John Marston."
"Goodbye, John Marston!" Seth replied. "It's been a great pleasure."
"I need your help, Seth. 'We' need your help. Me and Mr. West Dickens," Marston said.
"Let me be frank for one second, partner. I hate people. It was people who got me in this mess in the first place."
"What mess?" Marston asked confused.
"Look at me," Seth answered. "Look. Scramblin' around, looking for maps, half insane. I ain't washed in six months, my hairs fallin' out, my mind's goin'.
"What happened?" Marston asked.
"What happened?" Seth replied. "My partner! He stole half my map! I never would have done that to him. Never. Look at me."
"Who did this to you?" Marston asked.
"My partner!" Seth shouted. "My boy! My man! Moses Forth. I don't have the facility to tell you what I would have done for that man,............. AND WHAT I WOULD DO TO HIM NOW!!!!!!!"
"Why?" Marston questioned.
"Because he stole half my damn map!" Seth shouted.
"And what map's that then?" Marston further questioned.
"THE MAP, PARDNER!" Seth shouted in reply. "The map that tells me where it is."
"Where what is, friend?" Marston questioned once more.
"I ain't tellin' ya that," Seth growled. "I ain't. Don't make me tell, pardner."
Seth laughed maniacally and hid behind Josephine Byrd's tombstone and continued cackling. "It's mine. It's mine. It's all mine!" Seth chuckled in a psychotic manner.
"Sure," Marston said peeking behind the tombstone. "And where's this Moses now?"
Seth poked his head out from behind the tombstone. "He's at Benedict Point. The law got him for exhuming. Some people.....they feel differently. Not Moses. Him, me, we're the same. The self same."
Marston nodded. "Well come on, Seth," he said. "Let's go see Moses and get you yer map back. Then, maybe you'll help me."
Seth stood up. Time to teach that asshole Moses a lesson, Seth thought to himself. "Alright, Pardner," Seth replied. "Let's go."
Seth Briars' Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver Richards-Mason Conversion - .38 Long Colt
Moses Forth's Colt Paterson Revolver - .36 Caliber
I'm planning on adding this chapter to my novelization of the game. I may also film this and include a part of it as a flashback in my Red Dead Redemption films. Let me know if you think I should or shouldn't and tell me why. Comment if you wish.