A Mexican bandit made a specialty of crossing the Rio Grande from time to time and robbing banks in Texas.
The banks offered a reward for his capture, dead or alive, but offered a much larger award for the recovery of the stolen funds.
An enterprising Texas Ranger decided to track him down. After a long and difficult search, he traced the bandit to his home town. On a hunch, he checked the town’s cantina, and sure enough, there was the robber.
The only other people in the bar were the bartender and a scrawny, older man at a back table.
The time was right to make a move. The ranger drew his revolver, charged into the cantina, and announced: “You are under arrest. I get a reward for you, dead or alive. Tell me where the money is, and I’ll let you live. If you don’t, I’ll shoot you right here, and save myself the trouble of having to take you back to Texas alive.”
But the bandit didn’t speak English, and the Ranger didn’t speak Spanish. As it turned out, the scrawny man at the back of the bar happened to be an old miner. He knew the robber, and was bilingual, and quickly offered to translate for the two of them.
The ranger said: “Tell him that if he doesn’t tell me where the loot is, I’ll shoot him here and now.” Upon hearing what the Ranger had said, and seeing the cold look in his eye, the bandit knew that the Ranger meant it – if he did not give up his loot, he was a dead man.
Terrified, the bandit blurted out in Spanish that the loot was buried in an old barn at the outskirts of town. “What did he say?” asked the Ranger.
The old miner answered: “He said, ‘You don’t have the nerve to shoot me, you damn Yankee swine.'”