Danis (dah-NEE), the red-haired son of Sailor, who fatally wounds Médéric in a quarrel over Gina. Enraged by his father’s murder, he burns Maudru’s property; then, in the excitement, he is able to escape Maudru’s men.
Sailor (say-LOHR), Danis’ woodcutter father, who goes searching for him. While drunk, he is stabbed by two drovers, who are Maudru’s men.
Junie (zhew-NEE), Sailor’s wife and Jérôme’s sister.
Antonio (ah[n]-toh-NYOH), a semi-primitive man of the river, called “Goldenmouth,” who accompanies Sailor in his search for Danis.
Maudru (moh-DREW), a wealthy ox-tamer whose word is law in the Rebeillard region of France.
Gina (zhee-NAH), his daughter, who is supposed to marry her cousin Médéric but is carried off by Danis.
Clara (klah-RAH), a blind unmarried woman found in childbirth in the woods by Sailor and Antonio. Antonio loves her and takes her back home with him.
Jérôme (zhay-ROHM), Junie’s brother, a hunchbacked healer called Monsieur Toussaint in the village. He hides Danis, his nephew, and Gina in his house, and he tries unsuccessfully to heal Médéric’s wound.
Médéric (may-day-REEK), the nephew of Maudru. He is shot by Danis, who then abducts young Gina.
Gina, Médéric’s mother and Maudru’s sister, a hard, capable woman.