"a voice...the equivalent of a hypnotist's eyes" (Chapter 1, 3rd paragraph after break).
When he spoke, people could not help but listen. His personality was magnetic -
"Phineas in those days almost always moved in groups the size of a hockey team" (Ch.1, 6th paragraph after break).
Finny was fearless and daring. When he first noticed the tree, a "tremendous...irate, steely black steeple", he immediately wanted to climb it and jump from it, just for fun.
"No one but Phineas cold think up such a crazy idea. He of course saw nothing the slightest bit intimidating about it. He wouldn't, or wouldn't admit it if he did. Not Phineas" (Ch.1, 2nd paragraph after break).
Finny was very persuasive with his peers, but he didn't try to talk them into doing anything he would not do himself.
"Naturally Finny was going to be the first to try, and just as naturally he was going to inveigle others, us, into trying it with him" (Ch.1, 6th paragraph after break).
"...always said what he happened to be thinking, and if this stunned people then he was surprised" (Ch.2, 5th paragraph).
He was beloved by the summer faculty of Devon in 1942 because he
"...reminded them of what peace was like...careless and wild...a sign of the life the war was being fought to preserve...Phineas was the essence of this careless peace" (Ch.2, paragraphs 9-10).