Run away of some idealistic youngsters or they will bring democracy to you

Pyle is an idealistic youngster, has internalized a lot York Harding’s ideas, so much that he believed that they could be applied to the reality of Vietnam without any type of criticism nor modification. As a base to internalize those ideas, or at the same time as he internalized them, other ideas accompanied them had installed also in his mind: a too rigid and intolerant conception of a specific type of democracy that Pyle considers universally valid. It is a type of democracy that, for the idealistic Pyle, must be exported to all the world, because is what is good, and makes no difference if the use for the force is needed or not:

«Democracy was another subject of his, and he had pronounced and aggravating views on what the United States was doing for the world.»

That is another center topic: the behavior of the United States, qualified in many other areas of imperialist, is in Pyle’s mind the necessary one to extend what is good to other parts, his particular conception of democracy. This thought, as it can be evidenced, leads Pyle to internalize also an aphorism, implicitly: the end justifies the means. His internalized ideas implies this aphorism. And this allows another Pyle to appear, a more mysterious, more sinister and more cold-blooded side to Pyle.

There are some clues that the narrator has given throughout the novel to indicate this. As an idealist, firstly Pyle only wants to make good actions. But in a given moment, in the watch tower where he and Fawler take refuge to prevent an attack, occurs something surprising:

«Just as I rose the voice stopped: the silence made me jump. Pyle said sharply, “Drop your rifle.” I had just time to wonder whether the sten was unloaded-I hadn’t hothered to look-when the man threw his rifle down.»

It’s surprising that Pyle wants to arm himself, but it’s still more surprising that Pyle is going to use the weapon even to kill a human being:

Pyle exauained bis sten. “There doesn’t seem any mystery about this,” he said. “Shall I fire a burst?”
“No, let them hesitate. They’d rather take the post without firing and it gives us time. We’d better clear outfast.” “They may be waiting at the bottom.”
There is another episode in which it is sensed that Pyle can be a little cold-blooded, although he does not remain clear if it’s only unwise or he is really somebody that stands up to the fear. It is the moment when Pyle sails up to Phat Diem alone to talk with Fawler, endangering his own life:
“How on earth did you get here?” I asked. “They let me through as far as Nam Dinh to see our trachoma team, and then I hired a boat.” “Aboat?”
“Oh, some kind of a punt-I don’t know the name for it. As a matter of fact I had to buy it. It didn’t cost much.” “And you came down the river by yourself?” “It wasn’t really difficult, you know. The current was with me”. “You are crazy.”

Another moment in which the cold-bloodness of Pyle is shown is when it helps Fowler escape from the attack in the watch tower. In this case it is not longer only that he dares to use a weapon, is not either that seems cold-blooded but maybe he is not: in this case is more evident, he risks its own life to save that of Fowler, so it’s undoubtedly a cold-blooded action:

He crept round to my side and hoisted my arm over his shoulder. I wanted to whimper like the boy in the tower and then I was angry, but it was hard to express anger in a whisper. “God damn vou, ‘Pyle, leave me alone. I want to stay.” “You can’t.”
He was pulling me half on to his shoulder and the pain was intolerable. “Don’t be a bloody hero. I don’t want to go.”

All this gives us clues on the side of the more cold-blooded side of Pyle. But undoubtedly, we see the more mysterious, more sinister and more cold-blooded side to Pyle when we find out about his relations with general Thé. The reader does not know the first the facts of this relation through Pyle, but through another character, called Heng, who informs Fowler about some connections between Pyle and Thé. Related with this, Fowler respond to Heng:

“You mean you’ve established a kind of connection between Pyle and the General,” I said. “A very slender one. It’s not news anyway. Everybody here goes in for Intelligence.”

Later the suspicions that Heng introduces are confirmed, brutally. Some bombs camouflaged in bicycles exploded and as a result of that incident the linking between Thé and Pyle was evidenced. Pyle was arming Thé as Heng suspected. Fowler warned then Pyle:

“Those bicycle bombs. They were a good joke, even though one man did lose a foot. But, Pyle, you can’t trust men like The. They aren’t going to save the East from Communism. We know their kind.”

Pyle did that because he is an idealistic young, he believed York Harding, and York Harding thought that it was necessary a «third way» in Asia to obtain the Democracy: nor Communists neither Colonialists can bring democracy to Asia, only a «third way» can according to York. Pyle was idealistic and also innocent, but besides there is a more mysterious, more sinister and more cold-blooded side to Pyle than the Pyle we can see at the beginning of the story.