"And all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet these also are the same selfsame tale and contain as well all else within them"

As Billy wanders through Mexico he meets several mentors who provide instructions about understanding a world of seemingly irreconciliable forces, often in the form of parables or stories.

The importance of stories and their telling McCarthy perhaps drew from Aztec and Mayan history. Enrique Florescano points out in Memory, Myth, and Time in Mexico: From the Aztecs to Independence that both the Mayans and Aztecs placed heightened emphasis on the scribe who recorded historical stories:

'The Nahua texts that describe the scribe, or tlacuilo, sometimes elevate him to the category of sage, or they represent him as an individual possessing specialized techniques and knowledge'.

The ex-Mormon at Huisiachepic, the blind ex-revolutionary, and the gypsy who tells Billy the story of the two aeroplanes certainly fall under this category.