|“||He was good, and he did good.||„|
|—Edith Downes to Arthur Morgan in "Sodom? Back to Gomorrah"|
Events of Red Dead Redemption 2
Horseshoe Overlook chapter
Thomas Downes first appears upon the player's first visit to Valentine, to which he can be found near the stables opening a fundraiser for charity. During Arthur's brawl in the saloon, Thomas intervenes in the fight between Arthur and Tommy. Afterward, he is seen giving donations to the poor in Valentine, and he may ask Arthur to donate. He is heard coughing while talking about giving money to charity.
Being financially unstable, Downes sought and received a loan from Leopold Strauss. However, Thomas was unable to repay the loan, resulting in Strauss sending Arthur to reclaim the debt. Arthur arrives at his ranch, and when Thomas claims he has no money, Arthur threatens and physically assaults him. During the beating, Thomas coughs blood, some of which lands in Arthur's mouth. Edith tells Arthur that Thomas has an illness, so Arthur leaves the property.
It is later mentioned that Thomas passed away, presumably due to his illness, but his wife and son clearly attribute his death to Arthur's assault and hold him personally responsible.
Beaver Hollow chapter
As the story progresses, Arthur noticeably begins showing symptoms of a cough, with increasing frequency and severity. After the Guarma chapter, Arthur's appearance also appears to have deteriorated.
While traveling to meet Sadie Adler in order to rescue John Marston from prison, a severe coughing fit causes Arthur to lose consciousness. After being helped to a clinic by a stranger, Arthur learns from the doctor that he has contracted tuberculosis, which is terminal and will ultimately kill him.
This leads to a turning point in Arthur's life, making him decide who he wants to be in the time he has left. Arthur himself speculates that he contracted the disease from Thomas Downes, as written in his journal: "All them bullets shot at me, all them horses threw me, all them fights and it was the beating of that pathetic little fella Downes that killed me, I reckon". He will later say something similar to Sister Calderón if the player has high honor and completes her mission strand.
- Red Dead Redemption 2
|“||You won the fight already, surely that's enough?||„|
|—Thomas Downes to Arthur Morgan|
|“||Please... I have a family, sir... please.||„|
|—Thomas, begging Arthur on his knees; a line the latter remembers during his last ride, if his Honor is low|
|“||We already owe more than it's worth...||„|
|—Thomas' final words to Arthur after the latter beats him to the point of death|
- Charity Handbill
- Unlike most of the other loan shark missions, "Money Lending and Other Sins III" is mandatory, making it impossible to prevent Arthur from contracting tuberculosis.
- During the fundraising event in Valentine, the dialogue will vary depending on whether or not the player has completed "Americans at Rest".
- His grave marker incorrectly spells his name as "Thomas Downs".