In 1865, John Wilkes Booth and Michael O'Laughlen, both members of the Knights of the Golden Circle, enter a tavern and approach Thomas Gates (Ben Gates' great-great-grandfather), a well-known puzzle solver, to decode a message written in Booth's diary. Thomas begins to translate the message. While he does so, Booth leaves to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. Thomas solves the puzzle, a clue to a map to Cibola, the city of gold, but realizes the men are still loyal to the South and have a sinister motive for finding the treasure. He rips several pages from the diary and throws them in the fireplace. Thomas is shot, and the gunman attempts to retrieve the pages, but only obtains a page fragment.