Conn Hourican, a talented old fiddler who is fond of traditional melodies. He lives in the countryside of the Irish Midlands. Conn clearly loved his past existence on the open roads and feels hemmed in by the house he and his two daughters inherited. He is a passionate, simple man rather than an abstract thinker, and he feels trapped by the conventions of his farming community. Conn perceives that those living around him are unhappy because they do not live life adventurously.
Maire (Mary) Hourican
Maire (Mary) Hourican, the pretty eldest daughter of Conn Hourican. A single woman who has chosen to be her aging father’s helper, she shares his love of adventure. Calm and steady in temperament, she has some interest in a local suitor, Brian MacConnell, but cannot summon sufficient interest to marry him. Generously, she allows her sister Anne and Anne’s husband-to-be to have rights to the house until they can afford one of their own. She decides to join her father for a life on the open roads of Ireland.
Anne Hourican, Conn Hourican’s youngest daughter. Anne is nineteen years old and is in love with James Moynihan, her ardent suitor. Her life revolves around thoughts of marriage to him.
Brian MacConnell, the quiet, intense young farmer who loves Maire Hourican so much that he is trying to build a home for them to live in after their hoped-for marriage. She does not want to marry him at present, content as she is to follow her father’s itinerant lifestyle. Taking things well, he wishes her good fortune in her travels.
James Moynihan, the good-natured son of a local farmer and “councillor” who asks for Anne Hourican’s hand in marriage. James is a persistent and, finally, successful suitor, though he cannot provide Anne a home in which to live. With Maire’s offer of her home, James and Anne can get married.