Pepe Rodriguez

Pepe Rodriguez, one of the most notorious bank robbers in the early settling of the West, lived just across the border in Mexico. He regularly crept into Texas towns to rob banks, returning to Mexico before the Texas Rangers could catch him. The frustrated lawmen were so embarrassed by this that they illegally crossed the border into Mexico.

Eventually, they cornered Pepe in a Mexican bar that he frequented. Unfortunately, Pepe couldn’t speak any English, so the lawmen asked the bartender to translate for them. The bartender explained to Pepe who these men were, and Pepe began to shake with fear.

The Texas Rangers, with their guns drawn, told the bartender to ask Pepe where he had hidden all the money he had stolen from the Texas banks. ‘‘Tell him that if he doesn’t tell us where the money is right now, we’re going to shoot him dead on the spot.’’ The bartender translated all this for Pepe.

Immediately, Pepe explained in Spanish that the money was hidden in the town well. They could find the money by counting down 17 stones from the handle, and behind the 17th stone was all the loot he had stolen.

The bartender then turned to the Rangers and said in English, ‘‘Pepe is a very brave man. He says that you are a bunch of stinking pigs, and he is not afraid to die!’’

(Wayne Rice, Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks, p. 163-4)

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