The character John Dalmas is portrayed as heroic because he takes matters into his own hands fearless. For instance he can be described as a vulgar due to his speech for example he refers to the detectives who arrive at the scene of the crime as the small dick and the big dick. This could be due to the fact that he doesn’t like cops that much since he thinks that he is a better detective.
John Dalmas is shrewd because he is not honest with the damsel Lola. She requests him to find some pearls she had been given by a former lover but once he finds the pearls and discovers that they were fake, he buys others and discards the original ones so that she never finds out that they were fake in the first place. Apart from not being totally honest with Lola this act can also be viewed as a bit chauvinistic because he seems to think that Lola can’t handle the truth. Lola has the right to know that this ex lover who she holds so dearly wasn’t that honest with her as he gave her fake Bohemian pearls. This can be termed as chivalry but why should he deem her so fragile while she is not, in fact Lola proves this when she helps John to fight off Tessilore.
On the other hand, Dalmas discarding the fake pearls in the ocean and getting replacements for Lola so as to spare her feelings can be seen as a thoughtful act. It is a selfless act since he even had to purchase replacements for the fake ones. John Dalmas can be termed as reckless which can be easily confused for bravery. He immediately runs after the culprit Tessilore after the shooting, without any regard for his own wellbeing. This is an impulsive and a careless act because it is quite obvious that Tessilore is armed and a dangerous man. At the point he does this, he doesn’t even have a well thought through plan. John also doesn’t carry a gun on him, his line of work being a private detective calls for some form of protection. A gun in this case would be handy for a person in his profession.
John is quite corny or macho. This is evident when in dangerous situations he affords to make corny comments. This shows a corny nature that may be well hidden. This could also be in good nature, him trying to calm the nerves of those around him in these dangerous situations by saying how he is used to such peril making them feel that they are in good and experienced hands.
Dalmas is clearly a solitary man. From the get go we observe that he is at a local bar drinking by himself. One would expect him to have company. He also seems to enjoy a game of chess by himself which is not ordinary behavior. Needless to say we don’t see that many close friends of his in the book. This trait could be strategic in that he is a private detective and it would be better for business if he kept a low profile.
He is also a care free knight in a way because when the young bar tender tries to point out that Tessilore has had too much to drink for one night and that he ought to call a cab for him so that he can go home, John responds telling the bar tender that he should leave him alone. He is of the opinion that one should act based on their free will.