No, miss. If the men get caught out in that storm, they're gonna die.


And if we lose the herd, we'll all die, you stupid man.

Bonnie MacFarlane

A Tempest Looms is the seventh mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


John gives Bonnie and the ranch-hands some help in herding cattle back from the fields in the middle of a thunderstorm.


Mission Prerequisites

Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:

Mission Objectives

To complete this mission, the player must:

  • Ride with Bonnie to the first cattle herd.
  • Drive the first herd to the old oak tree.
  • Stop the stampeding cattle.
  • Drive the full herd back to MacFarlane's Ranch.

Mission Details

Marston must herd cows back to the ranch while a massive thunderstorm approaches. Marston begins by herding a small group of cattle to the designated location. To speed up the process, the player should tap up on the d-pad while herding. To prevent cows from straying, the player should make Marston move in a weaving motion (left, right, left, right ...) behind the cows and should also not ride too fast or else the cows will likely scatter.

After the cutscene, immediately ride in front of the herd and slow down (press R1/RB). The player may have to do this a few times to prevent any of the herd from running over a cliff (saving all 21 cows is very doable). A very good method to save most of livestock is to charge to the edge. Your horse will neigh and stop at the edge. Take out your Cattleman revolver and shoot the gun into the air. Most of the cows will stay away from the cliff, but you have to be fast. Horses that are recommended for this method are the Ardennais, or the Kentucky Saddler received from the last mission: Wild Horses, Tamed Passions.

Now, the player should head to Bonnie and round up the stragglers into one herd. After the cattle are all rounded up, the player should repeat the strategy from the first part of the mission. Again, do not ride too fast behind the herd, as Marston could go into the herd and scatter it.

For completionists, to get 100% on stragglers returned (Mission Stats), Marston must be the only one that returns the strays, not Bonnie or any of the ranch hands. It's doable, but a bit more work. Players would have to minimize the straying of cattle when herding and rush to any strays immediately if it happens (so long as it turns from dark blue to light blue, it counts as a return for Marston). Also, after saving the cattle from plunging over the cliff, the player should be prepared to rush around collecting strays right after meeting up with Bonnie again.

Mission Dialogues

Main article: A Tempest Looms/dialogues

Mission Failure

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Assaults or kills Bonnie or her horse.
  • Assaults or kills the ranch-hands.
  • Kills any ranch-hand's horse.
  • Abandons Bonnie and the ranch-hands.
  • Kills any livestock/cattle.
  • Lets the entire herd run off the cliff.
  • Strays too far from the mission location.
  • Breaks the law.
  • Kills a dog.
  • Commits vandalism.
  • Assaults or kills townsfolk.
  • Dies.

Gold Medal Objectives

  • Fastest Time: 5:05
  • Stragglers Returned: 85%
  • Number of Cows Herded: 21

New Game Elements Introduced

  • Cattle stampede

Mission Complete Unlockables


  • Strangely, the spooked horse trying to be sheltered in the barn in the opening cutscene appears to be an American Standardbred, a breed not obtainable by the player until much later in the story (and one which only spawns in West Elizabeth, not New Austin). Interestingly though, when the player approaches the mission the horse is a Cleveland Bay rather than an American Standardbred, likely done to prevent the player from acquiring such an impressive horse so early on.
  • For GOTY players, when pursuing the Gold Medal for this mission it is recommended that you use the War Horse rather than other breeds. Although the Kentucky Saddler gifted to you by Bonny is a good alternative, it doesn’t possess as much stamina and isn’t as fast. If you wish to keep the Kentucky Saddler, simply complete the mission normally and then replay it through the ‘Stats’ page; if you have the GOTY Edition, the horse given to you in all mission replays will be the War Horse, thereby allowing you to fulfil all Gold Medal requirements more easily.


Video Walkthroughs


Completing this mission contributes toward the following Trophy/Achievement:

100 gamerscoreGamerscore
Gold goldGold
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.

Red Dead Redemption mission walkthroughs
New Austin Chapter
"Exodus in America""New Friends, Old Problems""Obstacles in Our Path""This is Armadillo, USA""Women and Cattle""Wild Horses, Tamed Passions""A Tempest Looms""The Burning"
"Political Realities in Armadillo""Justice in Pike's Basin""Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit""Hanging Bonnie MacFarlane""The Assault on Fort Mercer"
"Old Swindler Blues""You Shall Not Give False Testimony, Except for Profit""Liars, Cheats and Other Proud Americans""Can a Swindler Change His Spots?""The Sport of Kings, and Liars"
"Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies""A Gentle Drive with Friends""Let the Dead Bury Their Dead"
"A Frenchman, a Welshman and an Irishman""Man is Born Unto Trouble""On Shaky's Ground""We Shall Be Together in Paradise"
New AustinNuevo ParaisoWest ElizabethMarston RanchRemember My Family
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