The Outsiders


Chapter 4 to Chapter 6

Chapter Four

The boys are surprised in the park by the blue Mustang. Four Socs have been seeking them out for "stealing" their girls and are now intent on punishing them. They push Ponyboy into the fountain, and he is convinced that he is drowning, when suddenly he realizes that he is safe and has been pulled onto the pavement with Johnny sitting next to him. Johnny informs him that he, Johnny, has killed Bob, the head of the gang who tormented him. They were going to drown Ponyboy and beat up Johnny and, out of self-defense, Johnny had knifed Bob.

Terrified, the boys solicited Dally's help. Dally, awoken from his sleep at Buck Merrill's party, handed them $50 and a gun. He advised them to flee to an old abandoned church in Windrixville, buy a week's supply of food as soon as they get there, and remain hidden in the church. The boys do so, jumping the train, tentatively asking for directions to the church, and climbing into it through a back window.

The church spooks Ponyboy. It is old and neglected, and full of spider webs. Both boys fall asleep.

Chapter Five

Johnny buys supplies (bologna, bread, and matches), as well as the book Gone with the Wind and peroxide to cut and bleach their hair in order to change their physical identities. Both are reluctant to wash the grease out and cut their hair, and after they finally do so, both cry. It has been a long week for them. They are homesick, and the murder of a 17-year-old boy weighs heavily on Johnny.

During the next five days in the church, they read Gone with the Wind and play poker. Ponyboy discovers that Johnny is not as slow or retarded as his teachers called him; rather, he is analytical and likes to turn things over in his mind. He also has original insights, such as comparing Dally to a Southern gentleman.

Another morning, Ponyboy repeats Roberts Frost's poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" to Johnny. Johnny is inspired by this, too.

Dally surprises...

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