Art Croft The narrator of the story; Gil's friend; sought out by others as a "confessor"; posse member.
Gil Carter Art's riding buddy; a big drinker, a tough fighter, a fair singer; posse member.
Monte Smith Bridger's Wells' town bum; an eager lyncher; posse member.
Canby Bartender; knows he has been Somebody; almost noncommital toward the matter at hand.
Moore An imposing man; laconic; self-controlled; one of Drew's range hands; posse member.
Bartlett A small rancher who lives in town; he gives the initial, rousing speech to the forming posse; posse member.
Farnley A hot-tempered, flaring man; Kinkaid's buddy; one of Drew's range hands; posse member.
Osgood The minister; called "gran'ma" by Smith; a shallow man of little conviction and less courage.
Rose Mapen Gil's former girl friend; driven from Bridger's Wells by other women because they considered her too attractive.
Drew Owner of the biggest ranch in the valley.
Kinkaid The man "killed" by the rustlers; well-liked by everyone in the valley.
Davies The storekeeper; the spokesman for justice and rule under law; a puzzling failure; posse member.
Joyce Davies's helper at the store; intensely loyal to Davies.
Greene The kid who brings the garbled news of Kinkaid's murder; posse member.
Winder An eager lyncher, the stage driver between Reno and Bridger's Wells; fiercely angry at the railroad companies; posse member.
Gabe Winder's half-witted assistant; harmless, except in his eagerness to share Winder's mood; bigoted against Negroes; posse member.
Risley A good sheriff (though some would disagree), who has too much territory to cover; a realistic and practical man.
Judge Tyler A large man; not respected by the men, he can browbeat them, to some extent.
Mrs. Larch Tyler's inhospitable housekeeper.
Mapes Risley's deputy; a bully; like Winder, an eager lyncher; posse member.
Sparks An old, eccentric black man; does odd jobs around town; gets some respect from the men for being a kind of minister; posse member.
Ma (Jenny) Grier A large, strong woman; keeps a rooming house in Bridger's Wells, not a deep thinker, but has "intelligent feelings" (according to Croft); posse member.
Major Tetley A former Confederate officer; a martinet. The only member of the group whose motivation is wholly personal; posse member.
Gerald Tetley The major's effeminate, sensitive, and thoughtful son; a boy of his word; posse member.
Amigo Tetley's Mexican cowhand; he saw the "rustlers" entering Bridger's pass; posse member.
Carl Bartlett Old man Bartlett's son; posse member.
Nate Bartlett Old man Bartlett's son; posse member.
Frena Handel A mysterious woman; her reasons for encouraging the lynch group to form are explained by Gerald Tetley.
Mark One of Tetley's cowhands; posse member.
Old Pete Synder A hermit living outside town who watches the posse ride by.
Alex Small Driver of the stagecoach which surprises the posse as they ascend the pass.
Jimmy Carnes Guard on the stagecoach; shoots Art in the shoulder.
Swanson Rose Mapen's new husband; a self-sufficient man who is also civilized; a puzzle to Gil.
Swanson's sister An ascetic woman who accompanies the newlyweds on their trip to Bridger's Wells.
Martin The young man who bought cattle from Drew.
The Mex (Juan) A thoroughly ingenious, knife-throwing, gun-slinging helper of Martin's.
Hardwick An old, feeble-minded man.