- Rusty-James wins a fight against a rival gang member, Biff Wilcox. Rusty's brother, the Motorcycle Boy shows up to remind the boys of their self-imposed ban on fighting; Rusty is cut by Biff with a knife, but he refuses to go to the hospital.
- Rusty-James is expelled from school.
- The Motorcycle Boy tells Rusty that he saw their mother while he was in California.
- Rusty-James's best friend, Steve, decides he is too dangerous to hang around with any more.
- Rusty-James and the Motorcycle Boy rob the pet store, stealing some Siamese fighting ("rumble fish") that they plan to free in the river, but the Motorcycle Boy is killed by a policeman before they reach the river.
- Steve and Rusty-James run into each other on a beach in California, but Rusty decides not to accept Steve's invitation for dinner.