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Pony and Two-Bit walk to the hospital to see Johnny. Conscious again, Johnny asks for some hair oil and a copy of Gone with the Wind, which Two-Bit goes out to purchase. Pony is left to visit with his friend, whom he senses is close to death. He tells Johnny about the rumble, which is to take place later that night. He also tells him that he and Darry have reconciled and that Dally is going to completely recover with only a few scars. The nurse interrupts to tell Johnny that his mother has come to see him. Johnny refuses to see her and then gets so agitated that he faints.
Pony and Two-Bit go to see Dally, who is his "usual mean, ornery self." He tells Pony that he is happy to see him alive, because he thought that he had killed him when he hit him at the church. When he hears that Johnny is in critical condition, Dally asks Two- Bit to loan him his switchblade. Pony notices a dangerous look in Dally's eyes and refrains from asking any questions.
While waiting for a bus to go home, Two-Bit realizes that Pony has a fever. Pony tells him not to tell Darry anything about it, for he will be all right after taking a few aspirins. He does not want anything to interfere with his being at the rumble later in the evening. The boys see Cherry, who tells them that the Socs are going to play by the rules at the fight; they will bring no weapons. Pony is a bit brusque with her, which hurts Cherry's feelings. When he sees that she is almost in tears, Pony is repentant because he does not like to see girls cry. In order to cheer her up, Pony asks her if the sunset is as beautiful on the west side of town as on the east.
In this chapter, both Johnny and Pony are frightened by the thought that Johnny is close to death. In an effort to ignore the truth and pretend that everything is fine, Johnny sends Two-Bit out to buy him some hair oil and a copy of Gone with the Wind. Johnny does not want to think about dying, for he is only sixteen and wants to see more of the world. In a bitter vein, Pony comments how for sixteen years they have learned and seen a lot, but it has not been the right things.
A nurse interrupts the boys to announce that Johnny's mother has come for a visit. Johnny refuses to see her, rejecting her completely. He thinks she would only complain about the inconvenience he is causing. She has never cared about him, and now that he is in trouble, he knows she cares even less.
Two-Bit and Pony leave the hospital, for the rumble will take place soon. On the way home, they see Cherry Valence, who continues to spy for the Greasers. She tells them that the Socs will not have weapons at the fight and will play by the rules. In spite of this news, Pony feels that something terrible will take place at the rumble. As a result, the chapter closes with a sense of foreboding.