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At this point in the book, Cherry is trying to explain to Ponyboy what she used to see in Bob and why she loved him. She knows that Ponyboy and the rest of the greasers would have hated Bob for the way he acted, but she wants Ponyboy to understand more about the "real" (in her opinion) Bob.
She goes on to say that Bob was a natural leader. She says he had something in him that "made people follow him." She is trying to get Pony to see that Bob was more than just some mean Soc.
This episode in the book shows us how important it is to Cherry that Pony should understand her feelings for Bob. She wants him to realize that Bob wasn't just some evil rich kid.
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