Mr. Bridges, the owner of a ranch in Nevada. He is a drunkard who leaves the management of the ranch to his sons.
Arthur Bridges, a dreamer. He sympathizes with the pagan animistic religion of Joe Sam, the Indian hired man. He is killed by a huge cat while he sits whittling, waiting for his brother Curt to join him in hunting for the mountain lion.
Joe Sam, the Bridges’ Indian hired man. He believes in “medicine” as the only way to avoid trouble from the cat who is the symbol of evil. When worried, he goes into a trancelike state, as he does when the cat appears on the scene. He recovers enough to help Harold Bridges hunt down and kill the cat.
Curt Bridges, the oldest of the Bridges’ sons and the natural leader among the brothers. He always wants to do things his way. He apparently dies of fright, having left his campfire when frightened by the cat. He falls over a cliff to his death.
Harold Bridges, the youngest of the Bridges’ sons. At first, he stays at the ranch house because his sweetheart is visiting. Later, he goes out with Joe Sam to hunt and kill the mountain lion that has killed his brother Arthur.
Mrs. Bridges, the boys’ mother. She fears, because of a dream she has, that her family is in danger.
Grace Bridges, the sister of Arthur, Curt, and Harold Bridges.
Gwen Williams, Harold Bridges’ sweetheart, an overnight visitor at the ranch.