Don’t Trust Strangers

Bishop Ben Oliphint tells the story of Jose Rodriguez, a bank robber who lived in Mexico, but preferred to rob American banks. In the wild days of the west, Jose would slip across the border into Texas, rob a few banks and flee back into Mexico.
One day, a Texas Ranger caught up with him in a saloon. The Ranger pulled his gun and threatened to shoot Jose if he did not tell him immediately where he had hidden all the money he had stolen. The problem was Jose did not speak English. The Ranger did not speak Spanish, and he kept screaming louder and louder, “I’m gonna blow your head off if you don’t tell me where the money is.”
Finally, a young man came over and offered to translate. “Okay,” said the Ranger, “tell him I want to know where all of that money is or I am going to blow off his head.”
The young fellow translated the Ranger’s words, and Jose said in Spanish, “Tell him not to shoot. The money is in a dry well at the end of town. If he removes the bricks with moss growing on them, he will find a million dollars hidden in the well.”
When Jose was finished, the Ranger said to the young man, “What did he say?” “Oh,” said the translator, “he dares you to shoot.”
Sometimes, it isn’t such a good idea to trust strangers.
“Xenophobia – Fear of Strangers,” by Rev. Michael S. Piazza