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by S.E. Hinton
The Outsiders Chapter 8 Summary
The nurses won't let Ponyboy and Two-Bit see Johnny. But once the doctor learns they've come, he tells the nurse to let the two boys in. Pony thinks that the look in the doctor's eyes means that Johnny "is dying" (8.3). Johnny's happy to see them, but it's obviously hurting him to even talk. He tells them that Tim Shepard, the leader of a big Greaser gang, stopped by to see him on his way to visit Dallas. He asks if Pony can get him a copy of "the book" (8.19), meaning Gone With the Wind. Pony asks Two-Bit to go buy him a copy so he can read it to Johnny. Johnny tells Pony he's really scared right now. He doesn't want to die. He's too young. Pony tells him he won't die. When the nurse comes in to tell Johnny his mother's here to visit, he tells the nurse he doesn't want to see her. Then Johnny goes pale and passes out. Two-Bit comes and the nurse says he can't come in, so Pony and Two-Bit go visit Dallas. They see Johnny's mother in the hall and she's yelling that she should be able to see her son if she wants to. When she sees Pony and Two-Bit, she screams at them that they're to blame. Two-Bit tells her, "No wonder he hates your guts" (8.45), but manages to keep himself from really telling her off. Pony thinks it will "kill" Johnny if he sees his mother. Dally, meanwhile, is really happy to see them. He says Tim Shepard came by to tease him about being a hero, instead of a criminal, in the papers. Tim also teases Dally because he has to stay in the hospital instead of going to the rumble. Dallas tells Johnny he's relieved he didn't kill him when he hit him, when his back was on fire at the church. Although Pony was never fond of Dallas, he feels a bond with him now, knowing Dallas was glad he hadn't killed him. Trying to act nonchalant about it, Dally asks how Johnny's doing. Pony says that Johnny doesn't look very well at all. Dallas asks Two-Bit for his switch-blade, and Two-Bit gives it to him. Dally hides it under his pillow. He plans to get out of the hospital in time for tonight's rumble, which he wants to win. He wants revenge for what's happened to Johnny. Pony doesn't feel well and Two-Bit notices. But Pony asks him not to tell Darry, because Darry will make him miss the rumble. Two-Bit says Darry is stricter than lots of actual parents. He then says that the only thing that keeps Darry from being a Soc is them. Pony says he knows this is true. He feels really nervous about the fight tonight, and tells Two-Bit so. He feels like something bad is going to happen. Two-Bit just doesn't get it. When they get to their block, they see Cherry Valance parked in her red Corvette, waiting by the lot. She's here to tell them that the Socs will fight clean tonight, without weapons. She has the information straight from Randy. She also tells them that Randy's tired of fighting and that he won't be there. Cherry asks them about Johnny. Pony asks her if she'll come and visit Johnny, but she says she can't. She knows Bob asked for it but she loves him, so she can't bring herself to look at his killer. Pony gets mad and tells her he no longer wants her to see Johnny. She's a traitor to both Socs and Greasers. He says, "Don't you ever feel sorry for us. Don't you ever try to give us handouts and then feel all high and mighty about it" (8.98). He's about to leave the scene, but Cherry looks close to tears and that stops him. She says she wasn't trying to give handouts, just to help him in whatever way she can. Pony brightens up and asks her if the view of the sunset from the West Side is nice. She says it is. Pony says it's nice on the East Side, too. She thanks him, smiling as she cries, and then Pony walks home.
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