Dr. Adams A general practitioner and emergency surgeon who lives near a lake on the northern peninsula of Michigan. Using makeshift surgical instruments, he delivers a baby boy to an American Indian woman who has been in excruciating labor for two days.
Uncle George Dr. Adams' brother; he accompanies Dr. Adams to the camp and with the help of three American Indian men, holds the American Indian woman down while Dr. Adams performs a cesarean.
Nick Dr. Adams' son, about eight or nine years old; he goes with his father and uncle to the American Indian camp.
American Indian Woman Having screamed for two days while trying to give birth, she is helped by Dr. Adams, who makes an incision in her with a jackknife and delivers a boy.
American Indian Husband The presumed father of the baby that Dr. Adams delivers by cesarean surgery is found dead in his bed. Hearing his wife scream for two days and during the painful, crude surgery drives him mad. Silently and secretly, he cuts his throat.
"The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife"
Dr. Henry Adams A proud doctor who is ashamed and angry that he is teased by American Indians hired to cut up logs that broke loose from a White and McNally shipment to a sawmill downstream.
Mrs. Adams The doctor's ailing Christian Scientist wife; she nags her husband with whining platitudes and biblical admonitions.
Nick The son of Dr. and Mrs. Adams, Nick blindly hero-worships his father.
Dick Boulton A mixed-blood American Indian who is hired to cut logs for Dr. Adams.
Eddy Boulton Dick's son; he carries the long crosscut saw for cutting the logs.
Billy Tabeshaw Dick's friend; he comes along to help cut logs.
"The End of Something"
Nick Adams In his late teens, Nick is living in the Michigan north woods.
Marjorie Nick's summertime romantic interest; Marjorie is stoic and leaves after Nick breaks off their relationship.
Bill Nick's friend; he is more instrumental in Nick's breaking up with Marjorie than Nick himself is.
"The Three-Day Blow"
Nick Adams ("Wemedge") A young man about eighteen years old who has just broken off a relationship with Marjorie, a girl whom he has been dating.
Bill Nick's friend; he is jealous of the time that Nick spends with Marjorie and has urged Nick to stop dating her.
George The manager of a diner in Summit, Illinois.
Nick Adams A young man about nineteen who tries to warn a boxer that is about to be shot by a couple of hired killers. When the boxer seems passively unconcerned about his own fate, Nick leaves town because he can't stand to think about a man who succumbs so easily to the threat of death.
Sam The Black cook at the diner.
Al One of the hired killers; he wears a black overcoat, silk muffler, gloves, and a derby hat. Al ties up Nick and Sam.
Max The other hired killer. He too wears a too-tight black topcoat and a derby hat. According to Al, Max talks too much, revealing their plans to kill Ole Andreson.
Ole Andreson A boxer who has probably double-crossed someone, and this someone has, in turn, hired Al and Max to kill Ole.
Mrs. Bell The landlady who manages Hirsch's Rooming House.
"A Way You'll Never Be"
Nick Adams ("Nicolo") An American soldier who fades in and out of what he calls "craziness" after he is wounded in Italy during World War I.
Italian Second Lieutenant He is reluctant to allow Nick to talk to the captain of the Italian military unit.
Captain Paravicini He realizes the seriousness of Nick's wound and urges him not to bicycle back in the fierce afternoon heat.
"In Another Country"
The Doctor He tries to convince Nick and the Major to use the therapy machines in the hospital.
The Major ("Signor Maggiore") Once a champion fencer, his right hand is now severely withered because of an industrial accident.
Nick Adams An American soldier who suffers a knee wound in World War I and struggles to understand the unusually stoic major's sudden outburst of emotion.
"Big Two-Hearted River — Parts I & II"
Nick Adams A young man who was wounded in World War I and has now returned to the woods of northern Michigan to fish and to heal himself of battle trauma.
"The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"
Francis Macomber A wealthy sportsman and versatile athlete. When he encounters his first lion, he doesn't shoot: He runs. To himself, he seems a coward, but the next day, he demonstrates his bravery but is killed at the moment of his triumph.
Margaret Macomber ("Margot") Francis' beautiful, domineering wife. She refuses to divorce him because of his money, but he cannot divorce her because of her beauty. Margot is delighted when Francis runs from the lion; this gives her more psychological control over him.
Robert Wilson The guide for the Macombers on this safari, he is the essence of the Hemingway code character. He does not follow the laws and rules of society; instead, he has his own code of conduct, to which he rigidly conforms.
The Beaters African natives who beat the grass to flush wild game into the open.
Kongoni and Abdulla The gun-bearers: natives who accompany the hunters and track down the wounded animals. When Macomber is carried triumphantly on the arms and shoulders of the cook, the personal boys, the skinner and the porters, the gun bearers do not take part because they witnessed Macomber's cowardly flight from the lion.
"Hills Like White Elephants"
The Man A young American man, unmarried, who waits with a girl in a railway station in Spain.
The Girl Referred to by the young man as "Jig," she is trying to decide whether or not to have an abortion; she slowly becomes increasingly angry as the young man minimizes her dilemma.
"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place"
The Young Waiter Impatient to close the cafe and go home to his wife, he insults the deaf old man, who, of course, can't hear him.
The Old Waiter An old man, like the deaf old man, he lives alone and is sympathetic to the old man's drinking until he is drunk.
The Old Man About 80 years old and deaf, the old man is drinking brandy in the very early hours of the morning in a Spanish cafe.
"The Snows of Kilimanjaro"
Harry Once a promising writer, he sacrificed his talent for the comfort of his wife's money. Now, dying of gangrene, he realizes that he will never be able to write the great fiction that he had envisioned. He is painfully conscious of his defeat and loss.
Helen Harry's wife; he married her because he thought he loved her; in truth, however, he married her because of her money. Helen is a loyal, loving, affectionate, and courageous woman.
Molo The servant who tends to Harry; his main function is to pour enough liquor in Harry so that Harry can stand the pain of his wound and that of utter disappointment.
Compson The aviator who is supposed to arrive and take Harry to a hospital.