What are you doing here, Mr. Marston, apart from frightening my deputies?

Marshal Leigh Johnson

I'm here to capture or kill Bill Williamson.

John Marston

Political Realities in Armadillo is the eighth mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


John enters the Sheriff's Office where he sees deputy Jonah sleeping in an open jail bed and another prisoner in a locked jail cell. The prisoner sees Marston and wakes Jonah, saying he has company. Jonah stands up and asks why he has come, and John, thinking that Jonah is Marshal Leigh Johnson, says he's from Fort Mercer. Suspecting he is one of Bill Williamson's goons, Jonah pulls out his gun, but John pulls out his gun too and says he should calm down, and at the same time the real Leigh Johnson comes in. Marston says he wants to capture or kill Bill Williamson. Leigh says that would be very hard, as it's already tough enough for him to keep Armadillo safe. John then offers to help him with some goons hanging out at the saloon.


Mission Prerequisites

Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:

Mission Details

Walk with Marshal Johnson to the saloon on the south end of town. Here a cutscene will begin and Walton Lowe will get on his horse and ride off, which means John will also have to mount a horse and follow. Inevitably, Walton will see Marston and he is prompted to tail him to his hideout. Hold your acceleration button to maintain the Marshal's speed and ride along with him. Eventually, you will arrive at the hideout, where Walton is holed up with some of his goons. Take cover behind the rock and proceed uphill to the broken wagon, taking more cover. A gangster will pop up from ahead, shooting. Take him out and proceed further, taking cover behind the crates. Two goons will be defending here (one behind the outhouse and one on the far end of the shack). Use Dead Eye or take them out normally. Move up to cover behind the outhouse and kill the final goon hiding on the rear end of the house. Get to the front of the house and enter Dead Eye (unless you're a quick shot). Walton will storm out of the house attempting to kill the player. He must be shot in the leg and he will fall to the ground, and there will be a cutscene in which Johnson thanks Marston. Alternatively, you can shoot Walton in a killzone to put him down for good, but this will not do well for your honor.

After the mission, the game will hint to you that the Marshal left you a long way from home and that you can use your campsite to fast travel back to Armadillo/MacFarlane's Ranch. After looting the bodies and checking the footlocker inside the shack, either get on your horse and ride back to town or use [Back](Xbox) or [Select](PS3) and go to Kit, then select Basic Campsite, select "Travel to destination" and then a town. Marston will kick dirt on the fire and you'll be teleported back to town.

Mission Dialogues

Main article: Political Realities in Armadillo/dialogues

Mission Failure

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Abandons or assaults Marshal Johnson.
  • Assaults or kills Marshal Johnson's horse.
  • Assaults or kills Walton Lowe before he leaves Armadillo.
  • Lets Walton Lowe escape.
  • Strays too far from the mission location.
  • Breaks the law.
  • Assaults or kills townsfolk.
  • Dies.

Gold Medal Objectives

  • Fastest Time: 2:35
  • Shot Accuracy: 100%
  • Number of Headshots: 5

New Game Elements Introduced

Mission Complete Unlockables


  • Leigh mentions that Bill Williamson is in the next county and outside his jurisdiction. This is incorrect to how U.S. Marshals operate, as they are federal agents and thus have jurisdiction over the entire country.
  • The mission is popular in achieving the Gold Medal achievement/trophy. It takes a finish of under 2:30 having at least five head-shots with 100% accuracy.
  • In one of the pictures below, John Marston is shown wearing the U.S. Marshal outfit which is accessible by completing all the U.S gang hideout in less than 24 in-game hours, although it can only be worn after completing The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed.
  • If the player has the lasso then they can choose to use it to capture Walton instead of shooting him in the leg.
  • Capturing Walton alive will award the player Scrap #4 of the Walton's Gang Outfit.
  • If the lasso has not been obtained then this will be the first mission which requires the player to kill humans. 
  • If the player's horse does not have a saddle, then the horse will be given a black saddle during the cutscene when the marshal and John get off their horses at the Pleasance House. However, your horse will lose it after the cutscene.
  • In this mission, you have the option to kill or capture Walton Lowe. Some players have noted that capturing Walton as opposed to killing him may prevent Mo van Barr's bounty from showing up, which will prevent you from receiving the Deadly Assassin Outfit if you unlocked it with a preorder code. (The 1.02 patch released on June 12, 2010 has fixed this issue.)
  • In this mission, Walton's horse is faster than even the American Standardbred or the Zebra Donkey. After the mission, it is possible to acquire the horse. It is located around the back right of Pleasance House, and has an appearance of that of a Cleveland Bay. The horse can be hitched and saved as the player's mount, but after exiting the game, the horse will no longer possess its remarkable speed. The horse will then on possess the statistics of a generic Cleveland Bay.


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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