Ponyboy had long wanted to read the novelGone With the Wind, and when he and Johnny took refuge in the old abandoned church on Jay Mountain, Johnny obtained a copy at the store for them to read. Pony read it aloud to Johnny, who was fascinated by the chivalric nature of the Southern soldiers--their "manners and charm."
"I bet they were cool ol' guys..." (Chapter 5)
To Johnny, their gallantry reminded him of Dallas Winston. Pony did not see the comparison.
"Dally?... Shoot, he ain't got any more manners than I do... Soda's more like them Southern boys." (Chapter 5)
But in the aftermath of the fire at the church, in which Johnny was the first one into the burning building to help the children inside, it became evident to Pony that Johnny was more like the Southern gentlemen than any of the other greasers. Suffering from the painful burns in dignity, Johnny "almost grinned" when told he was a hero.
"Tuff enough," he managed, and by the way his eyes were glowing, I figured Southern gentlemen had nothing on Johnny Cade. (Chapter 8)