In the 1880's, the custom in Mexico was when a young man asked a girl to marry him; there was a ritual to follow.
Typically the father of the intended groom would speak for his son and ask the parents of the intended bride for her hand in marriage. If the young woman's family didn't approve of the marriage the only thing two young people in love could do was to elope or "robar la muchacha" (steal the bride).
Sometimes a girl didn't want to marry a certain young man and he would force her into marrying him by stealing or kidnapping her. Usually it was the case that the girl did want to go with the boyfriend but would put up a fight to make a good show of it.
Eloping was not very common in a proper family, but it was the only way to avoid an arranged marriage and to marry ones' choice.
It was not unusual for a family to alienate a daughter who did not follow custom. Sometimes the family gave in right away and received the new husband into the family, other times a daughter had to beg her family's forgiveness before her marriage was accepted. It's been known that some families never would forgive a daughter for her disobedience: it was as if she was dead to them. (Told by Vera Castro)
Victor Gonzalez wanted to marry Luisa Ayala but her family was against the relationship.
The Ayalas were supposedly very fair and European looking. Luisa's mother, Cerapia Reyes Ayala was said to be from a Spanish family (muy española). Victor Gonzalez was more Indian looking. He was called "El oso prieto or negro" (the dark, or black bear) because he was short, stocky, dark complexioned and very hairy. (muy macho!)
Since the Ayala family didn't approve of Victor, the couple's only alternative was to elope, and the story is that they did, on horseback. Discovering that Victor had stolen Luisa (que Victor robó la Luisa) the Ayala family gave chase on their horses. The eloping couple crossed a distant river and hid out, spending the night together. It must have been raining because when the Ayala family got to the river they were unable to cross, so they waited.
The next day, the young couple went to a nearby town and were married. After the marriage, they met the Ayala family across the river and showed their marriage license. After they were able to cross back, the Ayala family recognized that their daughter was married and accepted Victor as her husband.
What needs to be made clear is that we don’t know the exact date of birth for either Victor or Luisa. The above story implies that Luisa might have been quite young when she was kidnapped by Victor. The only evidence of her birth date is found in her 1919 death certificate which shows her to have been born on 25 August 1869. She gave birth to her first child, tío Teodoro, on 9 November 1881. If the year were correct, that would put her at age 12 at the time of his birth. If so, that could account for the persistent story of "el robo de la Luisa".