Mrs. Bathurst is one of the central characters in the story. She is the subject of a story told by Mr. Pyecroft and Sergeant Pritchard to Mr. Hooper and the narrator. Her name does not appear until almost midway through the story. She is the manager of a hotel and restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand, where she earned a reputation for beneficence toward sailors like Pritchard and Pyecroft. She is the main subject of fascination, however, for Mr. Vickery (“Click”), who (again, as told through the story of Pritchard and Pyecroft) has an affair with her and deserts his ship when he sees her a fleeting image of her in a movie.
See Mr. Vickery
Mr. Hooper is an inspector for the South African railway who meets the narrator in Simon’s. Mr. Hooper fingers an unknown object in his pocket throughout the story; some readers have believed it to be the false teeth of Mr. Vickery, whose charred corpse he discovered along the railway line.
Little is known about the narrator except that he is a friend of Mr. Hooper and Mr. Pyecroft. He acts as a peacemaker between Pritchard and Mr. Hooper.
Pritchard is the immature friend of Mr. Pyecroft who interjects small details into the story of Mrs. Bathurst, based on personal contact with her in Auckland. He is suspicious by nature.
Mr. Pyecroft tells the story about Mr. Vickery and his relationship with Mrs. Bathurst. He and his companion, Sergeant Pritchard, surprise Mr. Hooper and the narrator in Glengariff Bay. Mr. Pyecroft is a talkative man with much sailing experience who often uses malapropisms in the telling of elaborate tales. He is the last one to have seen
Mr. Vickery Like Mrs. Bathurst, Mr. Vickery is a character who never appears in person; instead, he is the central character of the story told by Mr. Pyecroft and Sergeant Pritchard. Pyecroft describes Vickery as a “superior man,” reticent and a bit creepy. Mr. Vickery has earned the nickname ”Click” because of four false teeth that rattle in his mouth. Vickery’s infatuation with the movie image of Mrs. Bathurst, and his subsequent search for her, indicates an obsessive single-mindedness in his disposition.
Ira Mark Milne (Editor), Short Stories for Students – Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories, Volume 8, Rudyard Kipling, Published by Thomson Gale, 2000.