As a character, Kinkaid's part in the action is crucial, if slight The "killing" of Kinkaid is the event which transforms dissatisfaction with the rustling into actual hostility against the rustlers.
Croft says that one could no more believe that Kinkaid was dead than that a mountain might have been moved. And he is, of course, correct. As a symbol of the subconscious, innate, and decent humane impulse in the human psyche, Kinkaid cannot be killed. He can, however, be wounded, if men in haste, and anger, under social pressure and the leadership of a perverse man, set out to enforce justice with their own hands.