That Was Then, This Is Now


Chapter 5 to Chapter 6

Chapter 5 Summary

Bryon and Mark go to the hospital to see Bryon’s mom again. She notices the stitches on Mark’s head, and he tells her that he was in a fight. She accepts the explanation without question, and Bryon tells us that his mother never gets hysterical over her boys fighting. Like drinking, she would prefer they didn’t do it, but also seems to understand that she can’t stop it.

They stop by Mike’s room. He’s upset because his father recently visited and yelled at him. Mike says that he wishes he were dead, which depresses Bryon. While Mark stays to cheer Mike up, Bryon visits Cathy at the snack bar. Bryon admires Cathy’s intelligence and courage, and how she always says exactly what she thinks. He likes her a great deal, but is afraid to show it too much. He wants her to be “crazy about” him. When she mentions that Ponyboy called to ask her out, Bryon reacts casually but is privately filled with jealous rage. Cathy says she told Ponyboy she was busy. Relieved, Bryon says he’ll pick her up for a date Friday night.

After they leave the hospital, Bryon tells Mark that they are going to hustle some pool. He needs to get some money together so he can take Cathy out. To get started, they borrow five dollars from M&M, who only asks that they pay him back by the next day. At the bar, Charlie is in a great mood because the Army wouldn’t take him for the draft on account of his police record. He points out two men from Texas whom he thinks Mark and Bryon can hustle at pool, but warns them to be careful. The boys successfully hustle the men, one of whom calls himself Dirty Dave, and are delighted with their winnings. They leave the bar soon after the Texans, who are waiting in a nearby dark alley with a gun and brass knuckles. Before the men take their vengeance, however, Charlie appears at the other end of the alley with a sawed-off shotgun and orders them to drop their weapons. As the boys turn to leave with Charlie, one of the Texans lunges for his gun and fires...

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