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The gang is protective of both Ponyboy and Johnny because they are the two youngest and smallest members. They try to convince them both to never walk the streets alone; they are often accompanied by Two-Bit and/or Dally. Darry generally doesn't allow Pony to go out on school nights, and all of the greasers try to positively reinforce Pony's academic abilities. Pony's greaser friends know he has a better chance than any of them to complete high school and possibly go to college. Pony and Johnny try to ride with Two-Bit when they can, but on the night they encounter the Socs, Two-Bit's car is out of action. When it comes time for the rumble, they try to talk Pony out of participating, since he is still weak; of course, Pony will not hear of this.
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