These legends of the City of Mexico are of my finding, not of my making. They are genuine folk-stories. Each one of them is a true folk-growth from some obscure curious or tragical ancient matter that, taking hold upon the popular imagination, has had built up from it among the people a story satisfying to the popular heart.
Many of them simply are historical traditions gone wrong: being rooted in substantial facts which have been disguised by the fanciful additions, or distorted by the sheer perversions, of successive generations of narrators through the passing centuries. Others of them have for their kernel some unaccounted-for strange happening that, appealing to the popular mind for an explanation, has been explained variously by various imaginative people of varying degrees of perception and of intelligence: whose diverse elucidations of the same mystery eventually have been patched together into a single story-that betrays its composite origin by the inconsistencies and the discrepancies in which it abounds