Although Pony is thrilled to be reunited with his brothers, there is an ominous mood which overcasts the expected joy in their reunion.
Pony gets up first that morning, planning to prepare breakfast for his older brothers. Two-Bit stops by with a newspaper article and mentions that Pony has suddenly been deemed a "hero." He takes issue with this phrasing, insisting that Pony and Johnny have always been heroes. At the end of this article is a line that is especially troubling; it mentions the possibility that Pony might soon be separated from his brothers.
When Darry gets up, Pony questions him about it. Darry admits that the police have mentioned this possibility to him, as well. Before he leaves, Darry notices that Pony "ain't lookin' so good" and encourages his youngest brother to get some rest while he's at work.
A little later that morning, Randy stops by Pony's house. He surprises Pony when he reveals that he isn't going to be at the rumble. Randy doesn't believe that anything good will come from another fight:
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. So it doesn't do any good, the fighting and the killing. It doesn't prove a thing.
Readers might expect for this to be the happily-ever-after chapter. Pony is home, and there seems to be hope for a true reconciliation with Darry. However, the pending investigation into Pony's home life and Randy's tense foreshadowing about the upcoming rumble create a mood that has dark and foreboding undertones, cutting through any sense of peace that might exist from Pony's safe return home.