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Free Study Guide-The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton-Free Online Booknotes
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Chapter 10


After Johnny's death, Pony wanders aimlessly for hours. He is eventually dropped home by a stranger and breaks the news of Johnny's death to the gang. When they hear that Dally has run off in anger, everyone realizes that he too has a breaking point. Before long, Dally phones Pony. He tells him that the police are after him for robbing a store and that he will be at the vacant lot in a minute. Everyone rushes to meet him. Dally has already arrived with the police close on his heels. He stands under a street light, takes out his unloaded gun, and raises it towards the police. They open fire, and Dally crumples to the ground. Pony faints.

When he regains consciousness, Pony finds that he is at home in bed. Darry is protectively sleeping in an armchair beside the bed. Pony soon learns that he has been unconscious and delirious for over three days. He is overwhelmed by why lies ahead for him. He must make up all the schoolwork he has missed; he has to go to court about Bob's death; and he may be put in a boy's home.

Soda gives Pony a copy of Gone with the Wind; it is the one that Johnny had in the hospital. He says that the nurse told him that Johnny had wanted Pony to have it. Pony, however, feels that he cannot continue reading it, for it would be a constant and painful reminder of the deaths of Johnny and Dally.


In this chapter, Pony reaches his breaking point. After Johnny's death, he leaves the hospital in a shocked daze, trying to convince himself that his friend is really still alive. He wanders about in a stupor for hours, ignoring the injuries he has sustained during the rumble. When he finally reaches home, he is a bag of nerves. Then Dally calls to say that he is being chased by the police and is heading to the vacant lot. All of the Greasers, including Pony, rush to meet him there. By the time they arrive, Dally is already present, and the police are closing in. Dally pulls out the unloaded gun and points it at the police. Pony realizes that "Dally Winston wanted to be dead and he always got what he wanted." The police open fire, and Pony watches another friend succumb to death. It is more than he can handle, and he faints.

Pony does not regain consciousness for three days during which Darry constantly watches over and cares for him. When he finally wakes up, Soda gives him the copy of Gone with the Wind that Johnny had in the hospital. Pony does not feel up to even looking at it, for he knows it will simply remind him that his two good friends have died. He is also troubled by the fact that he has missed lots of schoolwork that must be made up, that he must appear in court, and that he may be sent to a boy's home. It is a lot for a sixteen year old to face all at once.

Pony's premonition does come true. It is sad and ironic that he loses two wonderful friends in one night. He knows that society will judge Johnny as a hero who sacrificed his life rescuing the children from the burning church; he also knows they will judge Dally as a hoodlum, who robbed a store and tried to kill the police. Pony, however, knows the other gallant side of Dally; he will always remember how he loaned them his gun even though it might mean jail for him, how he came to the church to check on them, how he tried to save Johnny from the burning building, how he forced his way into Johnny's room to be beside his friend as he died.

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