Sometimes you just come across a quote too pertinent and too well-written to pass by.  This is from the western novel The Hair-Trigger Kid by Max Brand.

There is the story-teller who never speaks in his own person, too.  All his stories begin, end, and are supported in the middle by “they say.”  “They” of “they say” is a strange creature.  It has the flight of a falcon and the silent wings of a bat; it speaks the language of the birds and bees; it can follow the snake down the deepest hole, and then glide like a magic ray through a thousand feet of solid rock; it can penetrate invisibly into houses through the thickest walls, in order to see strange crimes; it can step through the walls of the most secretive mind in order to read strange thoughts.  “They” has the speed of lightning, and leaps here and there to pick up grains of information, like a chicken picking up worms in a newly turned garden; “they” throws a girdle around the world in a fortieth of Puck’s boasted time.  Those who quote “they,” who quote and follow and mystically adore and believe in “they,” sometimes do so with awe-stricken whispers, but there are some who sneer at their authority, and shrug their shoulders at the very stories they relate.  Such people, when questioned, yawn and shake their heads.

“I dunno. That’s what ‘they’ say.”

You can make your choice.  Believe it or not.  Most people choose to believe, and therefore the rare information of “they,” thrice, yes, and thirty times watered and removed, is repeated over and over until it becomes a mist as tall as the moon and as thin as star dust.

So much for anonymous sources. And they say westerns aren’t worth reading.