marshall trimble ask the marshall true west magazine

Did Billy the Kid serve as an interpreter for Irish immigrants?

Marcil d’Hirson Garron
Newhall, California

Being of Irish ancestry on both sides of my family, I don’t get why the Irish would need an interpreter unless it was to have somebody translate Spanish for them. And Billy spoke Spanish.

I asked award-winning author Michael Wallis, an expert on the Kid, and he says, “Like you, I never heard of the Kid acting as an ‘interpreter.’ I agree with your theory, but even that is dubious.”

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or email him at

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