The Outsiders Chapter 7 Summary
- While the three brothers wait to hear how Dally and Johnny are doing, reporters and policemen come to the hospital to talk to them.
- Pony already wasn't feeling well, so getting bombarded with questions from reporters doesn't help.
- Luckily, Darry gets them to leave Pony alone.
- Sodapop, meanwhile, is making the reporters laugh by clowning around, stealing their hats, and pretending to be a reporter himself, interviewing hospital staff.
- Pony puts some grease in his hair and combs it; he really doesn't want his hair to look bad in the papers.
- Jerry tells Pony that the reporters were so camera happy because Soda and Darry look like movie stars.
- Eventually even Soda loses interest in the reporters, and he falls asleep with his head on Darry's lap. His brothers must be so tired.
- Pony still feels like he's in some crazy dream.
- As the reporters are leaving, one asks Pony, "What would you do right now if you could do anything you want?" (7.4).
- Pony says, "Take a bath" (7.5).
- Finally, the doctor comes out to talk to them.
- Dally is going to spend a few days in the hospital, so they can tend to his burned arm, but then he'll be fine.
- But Johnny is "in critical condition" (7.10), with a broken back and "third degree burns."
- Johnny might not live.
- Pony holds back the tears, trying to make himself believe that none of this is real.
- On the way home Pony falls asleep in the car. Soda tries to wake him when they get home, but it doesn't work.
- So Darry carries Pony in and puts him to bed. Pony had "forgotten how soft a bed really is" (7.20).
- Pony's the first one up the next morning and, after a shower, he goes into the kitchen to make eggs.
- Soon, Two-Bit and Steve come over, and Two-Bit seems really happy to see him.
- Two-Bit asks Pony what it feels like to be a hero, and shows Pony today's newspaper and the article titled, "JUVENILE DELINQUENTS TURN HEROES" (7.35).
- The article tells the whole story, from the church fire to the death of Bob.
- Cherry Valance and Randy Adderson, Bob's friend, were both quoted as saying that Bob was drunk, and that Johnny acted in self-defense.
- Even so, Johnny is to be tried for "manslaughter" (7.37).
- Pony and Johnny also have to go to juvenile court because they ran away from home.
- The paper questions whether Johnny will live, but Pony knows his friend will.
- Unbelievably, there are no charges against Dallas, and the paper doesn't even talk about his criminal record.
- Dallas is going to be so mad about that.
- The paper also implies that the courts might split up Darry, Soda, and Pony.
- When Darry wakes up, Pony asks his brother if he knows he has to go to court.
- Darry found out about it last night, from the police.
- Pony tells him he had his recurring nightmare, which he can never quite remember.
- Darry looks afraid for him.
- Pony had that dream for the first time the night after his parents' funeral.
- He'd woken up screaming, but couldn't remember the dream.
- This happened so much that Darry took Pony to the doctor. The doctor recommended that Pony increase his studying, his reading, his drawing, and his football.
- This basically worked, but the dream still comes back from time to time.
- Soda tells Pony that they're planning a big party, after which there will be a rumble and the Greasers will run the Socs out of town.
- Pony asks if Sandy will be Soda's date for the party, and everybody gets uncomfortable.
- When Sandy's parents heard about Soda's marriage proposal, they sent her to live with her grandmother.
- Darry and Soda leave for work, while Two-Bit stays behind with Pony, who does some cleaning to prepare for the social workers' inspection of their home.
- Later, as they're walking to the hospital, Pony realizes that a blue Mustang is following them.
- He wants to run away, but Two-Bit seems to think it's safe.
- Randy Adderson and David, the guy who tried to drown Pony, are in the car.
- Pony gets into the car to talk with Randy, while Randy's friends and Two-Bit wait for them.
- Randy tells them how surprised he is that Pony, Johnny, and Dallas saved those kids.
- He says wouldn't have saved them, and he can't believe Greasers would do something like that.
- Pony tells him that it doesn't have to do with whether you're a Greaser or not, but with who you are as a person.
- Randy says he's tired of all the fighting.
- Bob was his best friend, and now he's dead and Bob's mother "has had a nervous breakdown" (7.106).
- He says that Bob's parents gave him too many things, and never forbade him from doing anything.
- Randy says that Bob did all those bad things in the hopes that his parents would care enough to try to stop him.
- Randy talks about Johnny being on the verge of death.
- He says that in the rumble tonight some other guys might get hurt or killed, and still nothing will change.
- He says, "You can't win even if you whip us. You'll still be where you were before – at the bottom. And we'll still be the lucky ones, with all the breaks" (7.108).
- Randy says he's planning to move away.
- Pony tells him that won't change anything either.
- Randy says he knows that, but he has to leave. He can't bring himself to fight in the rumble, but if he doesn't, the others will say he's a coward.
- Pony says he wishes he could help him, and that he knows that Randy would've saved the kids from the burning building if he'd been there.
- Randy smiles and thanks him.
- When Two-Bit asks Pony what the Soc had to say, Pony tells him, "He ain't a Soc […], he's just a guy" (7.119).
- Pony feels better now, knowing that "Socs [are] just guys after all" (7.121).
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