Johnny and Pony are both amazed and ask Dallas if he's talking about Cherry.
Here's what happened:
Cherry comes around to the lot on their corner on the same day Two-Bit gets jumped.
Some of the Greasers "[are] for jumping her then and there, her being the dead kid's girl and all" (6.2).
Two-Bit doesn't let that happen.
Cherry feels that she's to blame for the whole situation.
She wants to give the Greasers information about Soc plans for violence against them.
She also wants to testify in court that Bob and his friends had been drinking and were looking for trouble.
She wants to testify that Bob was killed in self-defense.
(As you probably know, if you kill someone, and you can prove you did it to defend yourself, you might not be punished or your punishment might be less harsh. But, since Cherry wasn't there, and didn't see what happened, would her testimony help? Read a little more about self-defense to decide for yourself.)
Dallas says she still doesn't like him at all.
Pony thinks it's because she's scared to "love" him.
Dallas begins discussing alternative hiding places.
Then Johnny surprises Dallas and Pony by saying he wants to surrender to the police. He thinks it's the best thing for himself and for Ponyboy.
They're in the car, headed back to the church, when Johnny asks if his parents had been around, asking if he's OK or anything.
Dally says no, and that his parents don't care about him either. He just doesn't let it bother him.
Johnny is obviously hurt by the news, and Pony realizes that the love the gang gives him can't really take the place of parental love.
As they reach the top of Jay Mountain, Dallas stops the car hard.
They realize that the church is erupting in flames!
Pony and Johnny jump out, ignoring Dallas's instructions to stay in the car.
There are little kids everywhere.
Johnny says he thinks they must have left a burning cigarette and started the fire.
A man tells them that he brought the kids for a school picnic and while they were eating, they realized the fire was started.
A woman comes up and tells the man, Jerry, that she can't find some of the children.
They hear cries coming from inside the church.
Ponyboy runs over there, breaks a window, and he and Johnny get in the church.
They get the back door of the church open and start pushing kids out.
For the first time, Johnny has lost the scared, helpless look. He's large and in charge in his role as hero.
Pony starts helping kids out the broken window.
The smoke and flames are growing and Pony can hardly breathe.
Finally, all the kids are out, but flaming wood is falling so Johnny moves Pony toward the window too.
Heavy flames are chasing Pony as he makes it through the window.
He hears Johnny scream, but then Dallas hits Pony really hard on the back and he passes out.
When he wakes up he doesn't know where he is.
He thinks the "fuzz" (6.56), the cops, have him.
Pony wonders if he's being taken to jail. There's a man in the vehicle with him, and the man says they're in an ambulance.
Panicking, he asks about Johnny and Dallas, and learns that they're in another ambulance.
Pony asks why Dallas hit him in the back like that and learns that his entire back was on fire, so Dallas hit him to put out the flames.
The jacket he was wearing (the one Dally gave him) protected him from being burned more severely.
Now Pony remembers the man he's talking to – he's the teacher, Jerry, who was at the church. He asks if they're being taken to the hospital.
Dallas, he finally learns, was burned trying to get Johnny out of the church, but doesn't seem hurt too badly.
Unfortunately, the news isn't so good about Johnny. A burning piece of wood fell on his back, probably breaking it, and his burns are very bad.
Now Jerry tells Pony that he and his friends are heroes, that they are "the bravest kids [he's] seen in a long time" (6.72).
Pony informs him that aren't heroes, just Greasers.
The man hasn't heard of Greasers, so Pony explains that they're "hoods, JDs [Juvenile Delinquents]" (6.75).
He goes on to tell Jerry that "Johnny is wanted for murder, and Dallas has a record with the fuzz a mile long" (6.75).
Jerry is shocked, but says he's still taking all of them to the hospital in town. He knows Ponyboy lives in town because of the card in his wallet.
Pony asks if the little kids are all OK, and learns that they are.
A while later, Pony's sitting in the hospital waiting room, bruised but basically fine.
Dally was awake and cursing when they'd brought him into the hospital on a stretcher, but Johnny was fully passed out. Pony's happy to see that there aren't any burns on Johnny's face.
Jerry Wood, the teacher, is still here, and keeps saying how grateful he is to Pony for saving the kids.
Jerry comes into the waiting room and sees Pony smoking a cigarette.
He tells him he shouldn't do that.
Confused, Pony looks around for a no smoking sign, and doesn't see one.
Jerry tells him he's not old enough to be smoking.
Pony has never heard this before. All the neighborhood kids, boys and girls alike, are smokers, with the exception of Darry.
Suddenly, Jerry smiles, and tells him that his brothers are here to see him.
Pony runs into Soda's arms.
Darry's standing back, and his "eyes [are] pleading" (6.90).
First Pony thinks about how mean Darry is, and how his older brother yells and hit him that night. Darry doesn't care about him.
Then he sees tears dripping from his brother's eyes. And Darry never cries, not even when his parents died.
Now it all makes sense to Pony. He realizes that Darry gets mad at him because he loves him and is worried about him.
He runs into his brother's arms, and starts saying he's sorry.
Darry is trying hard to control his crying eyes and says, "Oh Pony, I thought we'd lost you… like we did mom and dad…" (6.96).
Yes, now Pony understands it all. Darry had acted the way he'd acted because he was afraid of losing more loved ones.
Pony can't believe he'd misjudged him, and thought he had no feelings.
Now that he knows how much Darry loves him, Pony feels like he's "home" (6.97).