Unlike a lot of his fellow employees at the state department, Peter actually leaves his desk to track down the stolen money by inserting himself in to the life of the widow whose husband stole it. He opportunistically follows her around, becomes involved with being her protector, takes her on dates, and helps her theorize about where the money might be, but also finds it hard to follow her erratic Ne-dom train of thought (she moves from thinking about the theft to “swinging like Tarzan down a vine to save the woman you love, like the Hunchback of Notre Dame” all in the course of a single conversation). Peter is more realistic and down to earth than Regina, and also quick to react. He gets into fist fights, he throws an opponent off a roof after engaging in a fight with him, he climbs out of windows and crawls all over buildings, he chases people down in the street, he steals cabs, and finally kills the man trying to kill Regina by choosing the right trap door to open under a stage and dropping him onto a cement floor. Peter uses duplicity and fast-thinking to talk his way out of bad situations; he pretends to be someone he is not and sells a convincing story each time, making up a web of lies to protect his real job at the treasury. He also sees nothing wrong with doing this, since it is “working” for him—a trait of TiFe thinking. His morals are impersonal; he uses a lot superficial charm to make Regina fall for him, but also gets drawn into her feelings and starts to share them. He wants her to like and trust him, so he goes out of his way to be silly and appealing to her (including showering with all his clothes on to make her laugh). Peter doesn’t show much long-term thinking, other than his remark at the end that he’d like to put her name on a marriage license next week, but even that is all about gratification as quickly as possible.

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Peter is skilled at deceit, even when there’s really no call for it—he plays various parts in Regina’s life, lies to her, and sells her different ideas about himself, from the moment they meet until the end when we find out he really works for the treasury department (when she throws up her hands in annoyance, he says she ought to be pleased he’s not a crook!). But he adeptly plays a role, with her and with everyone else—pretending to be on her side, then pretending to be on Tex’s side, pretending to be a thief, the brother of a fallen man, and a double-crosser, when in reality he’s none of them, but convincing at all his parts. He also shows assertive traits of being cool, confident, and competent under pressure, always knowing what to do to keep Regina safe, and appealing to her by being charming, funny, and even trying in vain to keep things professional, but soon finding her “irresistible” despite the age gap and her constant cracks about his senility. He is genuinely helpful and appealing, and his way of protecting her is to sort of micro-manage her and keep tabs on her.

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