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by S.E. Hinton
The Outsiders Chapter 5 Summary
When Ponyboy wakes up that afternoon, he's disoriented—he isn't quite sure where he is. It's all been a dream, he tries to make himself believe. He pretends he's at home, with Darry cooking in the kitchen and Soda tickling him. But he knows he's sleeping on the floor of the church in Windrixville. He gets up from the cold floor and looks for Johnny. He finds a note saying that Johnny had gone to town to shop. When Ponyboy sits on the back steps, he can see for miles since he's on top of a high hill. It seems like much more than a day has passed since Johnny and Pony met Dally to go to the movies. For all he knows, he's been sleeping for a week. Ponyboy begins to worry that Johnny's been captured, that Dally's been killed, and that he'd be left alone here forever. Oh no—he hears someone coming. It's… Johnny and he has groceries. Johnny reminds him that Dally said not to hang around outside the church where people might see them. In addition to food and matches, Johnny bought a copy of . Gone With the Wind Pony's really excited and asks Johnny how he knew this book was high up on his list of things to read. Embarrassed, Johnny says he heard Pony say it once. Pony finds a deck of cards in the bags, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. He knows that people use peroxide to lighten their hair color. Johnny confirms his suspicions. He and Pony are going to cut their hair and dye it because they're now in the newspapers, pictures and all. Pony says, "Oh, no! […] No, Johnny, not my hair" (5.16). Pony takes pride in his hair. It's really nice, but it's also what "label[s] [them greasers" (5.17). It was something nice they had for themselves. Still, Pony agrees that it must be done. Johnny cuts and dyes Pony's hair, then Pony cuts Johnny's. When Pony gets emotional and starts to cry, Johnny says he's sorry about the haircut and starts trying to cheer up his friend. It works and soon Pony's reminiscing about hanging out with Dally the night before. Johnny gets upset and tells Pony not to talk about last night—the night he killed a man. He has to start dealing with the guilt. He tells Pony it was an accident and then starts walking back and forth across the room, panicking. Pony is in tears and begins to panic too. Johnny says he shouldn't have brought a youngster here with him. Ponyboy reminds him, upset, that he turned fourteen two months before. They comfort each other and calm down, promising not to cry any more. Finally, Ponyboy calms down for the first time since he and Johnny were sitting with Cherry and Marcia at the movies. Five days pass by at a snail's pace. The boys stay at the back of the church watching the road from on top of the hill. Pony wakes up early one morning and watches an extraordinarily beautiful sunrise. Johnny sees it too. Ponyboy says, "Nothing gold can stay" (5.57). When Johnny asks him what he's talking about, he recites the short poem " Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost. Johnny says that Pony's interest in nature has made him notice nature more as well. So, it's the fifth day and Ponyboy has become pretty stir-crazy and really tired of bologna. He's partway through Gone with the Wind. Pony smoked too much, got sick, and is about to go to sleep when he hears a whistle. Before he knows it, Dallas is there with them. Pony is really excited. Dally says it's okay for them to come out and that his car is nearby. He gives Pony a letter from Sodapop. Soda says he and Darry were really worried about him and that Darry is sorry for hitting him. He says Darry didn't do it on purpose. It was a shock to hear that Johnny and Pony could have something to do with a murder, and it scared them when Dallas was taken to the police station. He can't believe he or Johnny would be involved in murder, and didn't know anything to tell the police when they came around. Dallas won't say where they are, and Soda wishes Pony would turn himself in. He says that Pony's "famous now," with his picture in the paper and everything. (In the book, Soda's letter is complete with plenty of misspellings.) Pony asks Dally why he was taken to the station. Dally says they bring him in every time something goes wrong, out of habit. Soon they're with Dallas, driving to the Dairy Queen in Buck Merrill's T-Bird. Pony and Johnny eat "barbeque sandwiches and banana splits" (5.105). Dally tells them that because of the murder of Bob, Socs and Greasers are warring all around, and Dally has even taken to carrying a gun. Two days ago, the Socs jumped Two-Bit, but he's OK now. As the chapter ends, Dally tells Pony and Soda that the gang now has "a spy" (5.111). Dally says that the spy is Cherry Valance, the redheaded girl from the movies.
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