Ponyboy missing curfew winds up being the catalyst for a murder. His older brother, Darry, who has assumed responsibility for raising Ponyboy after their parents were killed in a car crash, is furious with him for missing curfew and making him worry. Darry, Ponyboy, and their other brother, Sodapop, get into an altercation which turns physical, and in the heat of the moment, Darry slaps Ponyboy hard, knocking him into the door.
Ponyboy then storms out of the house to go and find Johnny, whom he had been with earlier in the evening. Once he is back with Johnny, some Soc boys arrive on the scene. They are drunk and very keen for a fight. For the second time that evening, Ponyboy finds himself on the receiving end of a physical assault when Bob shoves his head under the water in the fountain. It’s difficult to be totally sure about what happened next, but the next thing Ponyboy knows, Bob is dead, having been fatally stabbed by Johnny, who was defending Ponyboy.
In the aftermath of this fight, Johnny and Ponyboy realize that they are going to have to hide out for a while to avoid the police. They take refuge in an abandoned church building while they figure out their next move.