Frau Wolff, a washerwoman and the ringleader of a gang of dealers in stolen goods. Protected by her reputation as an honest woman, she sets about stealing from her daughter’s employer, Krüger, a load of wood and a beaver coat for delivery to the fence, Wulkow. By virtue of her own wit, the false testimony of other witnesses, and the incompetence of the justice of the peace, von Wehrhahn, the innocent in the affair are made to appear guilty, and Frau Wolff emerges as the soul of honor.
Julius Wolff, Frau Wolff’s husband, a shipwright and ferry captain who uses his nautical activities as a front for his real business in life, the illegal snaring of game.
Leontine (LAY-ohn-tee-neh), the elder daughter of Julius and Frau Wolff. She is hired out to Krüger but returns home complaining that he sends her after wood late at night. Her flight is used by Frau Wolff as an opportunity to steal the wood.
Udelheid (OO-dehl-hid), Julius and Frau Wolff’s younger daughter. She is used by her family as a verifier of invented evidence.
Wulkow (VOOL-koh), a boatman and a receiver of stolen goods. When he makes known his desire for a fur, his request is cheerfully filled by Frau Wolff, who delivers to him, for a price, Krüger’s beaver coat.
Krüger (KREW-gur), Leontine’s well-to-do employer, who is relieved by her thieving family of his load of wood and his beaver coat.
Von Wehrhahn (VAYR-hahn), the justice of the peace. He is so taken up with rigging evidence against Dr. Fleischer for a supposed slight that he cannot see to it that justice is done in his court.
Doctor Fleischer (FLI-shur), Krüger’s friend, a liberal democrat who incurs the wrath of von Wehrhahn and, unwittingly, blocks the path of justice.
Motes, an informer and giver of false evidence.