After finding Micah Bell's corpse on the top of Mount Hagen, Fordham and Ross travel to various locations whilst interviewing citizens, in an attempt to find the killer. They eventually find the ranch at Beecher's Hope, where they spy John Marston teaching his son Jack how to brush a horse. After being certain that they found the killer, Fordham and Ross nod to each other and leave to make plans.
Events of Red Dead Redemption
Fordham is first seen alongside Edgar Ross, escorting John through the town of Blackwater in the opening credits of Red Dead Redemption. Fordham has participated with Ross in the detention of Marston's family and his extortion to pursue his fellow gang members.
Fordham is not seen again until much later after the player captures or kills Javier Escuella in Nuevo Paraíso. Fordham arrives at the Mexican border by motor car with Ross and reiterates that Marston must deal with Bill Williamson and then return to Blackwater before he and Ross take Javier away.
Archer is characterized as being assertive and exceedingly capable at his profession, yet more hot-headed and impulsive than his cold and calculating mentor.
Fordham unwaveringly supports Ross in his dishonorable methods. However, unlike Ross, Fordham appears to develop a respect of sorts for Marston during the last few missions he is in. Participating in a handful of engagements with Dutch van der Linde, Fordham demonstrates himself as exceedingly capable in combat.
As of 1907, Fordham is a young man with a clean-shaven face. He is seen dressed in a formal business suit with a black tie and a black bowler hat with gray trimmings.
By 1911, Archer is slightly leaner and sports an immodest, lighter three-piece suit with a black tie. In addition, he wears a different bowler hat with darker black trimmings.
Thank you, Mr. Marston, for everything. I know this wasn't easy for you, but I have to say, you've done your country proud.
—Fordham's final words to John
Fordham's mother, Maybelle, has been dead since July 24th, 1900, and is buried at Blackwater cemetery. The game files contain a quote for NPCs regarding Fordham's mother's death. The quote is listed as "I hear that Bureau fella's never been the same since his mother got shot in the massacre". Due to the fact that the Blackwater Massacre occurred in 1899, it is possible that she was injured and later died from surgical complications or infection.
If Marston captures Javier Escuella, Fordham seems to have a more positive feeling towards Marston during the first two cutscenes in which he speaks. If Marston brings in Escuella dead, Fordham will show less appreciation to Marston, due to the fact that he instructed Marston to bring him alive.
Even though Fordham is Ross' partner, like Jonah and Eli, they actually contrast. Ross wears light clothes while Fordham wears dark clothes, Ross is old while Fordham is young, Ross is short while Fordham is tall and, most importantly, Ross is deceitful and sardonic while Fordham is honest and blunt.
During "The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed", Fordham is not present. However, a Marshal, Isaac McKinnon, is often mistaken for Fordham as he bears a striking resemblance to him and is seen close to Ross' side.