Although no specific dates or times are given, approximately two weeks passed from the time Johnny killed Bob in the park to the time of the court hearing. Pony and Johnny were greeted by Dally at the church on their fifth day of hiding, and the church fire occurred later that afternoon. Dally spent several nights in the hospital afterward before escaping to take part in the rumble. At the beginning of Chapter 11 (which begins a day or two after the rumble), Ponyboy tells us that "I had to stay in bed a whole week after that" to recover from his concussion. We can assume that the hearing took place shortly after Ponyboy recovered from his bed rest. The time between the court hearing and when Pony begins writing his essay is unknown, but probably several more weeks passed during this time as well. So, the whole novel takes place during the course of approximately one month.