Flowers Playing, an American Indian woman, part Ute and part Arapahoe. She is first seen by Martiniano when she is among a group of visiting Plains Indian dancers. He is enchanted with her wild grace and her striking beauty. The two are married and have a good initial year together, though they are ostracized from the pueblo society. An emotional barrier develops between them as a result of Martiniano’s sense of guilt and frustration, and he blames the deer that he has killed for having destroyed his wife’s love for him. Gradually, as they look forward to the birth of their child, the couple’s relationship is restored.
Palemon, the closest friend of Martiniano. Much like Martiniano in appearance, he is slightly older than his friend. One night, he responds to a mysterious inner summons that leads him into the mountains. There he finds Martiniano in a state of semiconsciousness, having been injured by the government agent who had discovered him hunting out of season. Palemon saves Martiniano’s life and continues to be his only friend among the pueblo members, providing support and wise counsel whenever needed.
Rodolfo Byers, a white man who owns the trading post nearest the pueblo. When Martiniano is assessed a fine of $150 for killing a deer out of season, Byers quietly pays the fine. He also provides credit at his trading post so that Martiniano can purchase items necessary to grow corn on his small plot of land. Byers takes Martiniano and Flowers Playing on a buying trip for the trading post, during which he assures Martiniano that each man has some special burden, such as the deer that haunts Martiniano, and that the burden will pass.
Manuel Rena, the leader of the peyote cult. Rena is a member of the pueblo, but, unlike most, he is a rich man, having fertile land, good horses, and a large herd of sheep. A big, handsome man, he wears polished leather boots and the finest of blankets from Mexico. Rena convinces Martiniano that Father Peyote will give him strength and faith. Martiniano, seeking an alternative to the Indian ways and to the domination of the mercenary Catholic priest, joins the cult.