What happens in chapter 4 in the book The Outsiders?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Because their boyfriends were drunk, Cherry and Marcia start walking with Johnny and Ponyboy; this action brings the boys in the blue Mustang who tell the girls to get in with them. Of course, their appearance raises the tension. Then, after Johnny and Pony stop in a vacant lot and Pony falls asleep, his arrival home at 2:00 a.m. causes an enraged Darry to hit Pony.

In Chapter 4, Pony rushes out of the house and returns to Johnny; they walk to a park with a fountain. Shortly, the blue Mustang drives up and Randy and Bob are inside; they threaten Pony and Johnny, telling them to leave their girls alone. Further they call the Greasers "white trash with long hair." Consequently, a fight ensues and Pony gets knocked down. When he pulls himself up he makes a terrible discovery:

Bob, the handsome Soc, was lying there in the moonlight, doubled up and still. A dark pool was growing from him, spreading slowly over the blue white cement. I looked at Johnny's hand. He was clutching his switchblade, and it was dark to the hilt. My stomach gave a violent jump and my blood turned icy.

Johnny explains that the Socs were going to beat him as they had done before, and he just could not let them do it. When he stabbed Bob the others ran off. Of course, they know that Johnny is in serious trouble and the police will soon appear, so they try to find Dallas, an experienced tough-guy. When they reach Dallas at his rodeo friend's place, he listens to the boys and takes them into his bedroom. There he gives the boys dry clothes and takes Johnny's bloody shirt; then, he hands them a gun and a roll of money with instructions to hop on the freight train to Windrixville that runs at 3:15 a.m. In Windrixville they should climb to the top of Jay Mountain and stay a week in the abandoned church there. 

iamkaori | Student

Ponyboy and Johnny get attacked by the Socs at the park. The Socs arrive in a blue Mustang, and start walking towards them. Johnny takes out his switchblade, and the Socs warn them to not be with 'their girls' anymore. They then start bashing each other:

"white trash with long hair"

"white trash with Mustangs and madras"

The Socs are enraged and give Ponyboy 'a bath', dipping him into the fountain of the pool. Ponyboy loses consciousness, and when he is conscious again, he is lying on the ground. Johnny is beside him, shaking. Bob's body lies nearby in a pool of blood, as Johnny says "I killed him". Ponyboy throws up in disbelief. Johnny continues saying that the Socs were about to beat him up, and he was so afraid the same thing would happen like previous encounters. So he stabbed Bob, and then all the Socs ran away.

Johnny and Ponyboy decide to go to Dallas and seek help for running away. Dally is at Buck Merrill's, and so they go there. Dally gives Ponyboy some clothes to change into from his wet clothes, and both of them a gun and fifty dollars. He tells them to get on a freight train to Windrixville, then hide out on an abandoned church on top of Jay Mountain.

They do as they are told, and sleep on the floor of the church for the night. Before sleeping, Pony remembers his parents, and a premonition rises in his chest.