In Chapter 9, the Greasers are getting ready to rumble against the Socs. Ponyboy is feeling sick but decides he is going to fight. Ponyboy begins to contemplate why other Greasers enjoy fighting while they are getting ready. Ponyboy puts lots of oil in his hair to show that he is a Greaser and comments that tonight the boys could be proud to be Greasers. He does not fully understand why they are proud of being "hoods," and even mentions that he doesn't like having the reputation of a Greaser. Ponyboy begins to ask the other Greasers why they like to fight. Ponyboy mentions that he'll fight anybody anytime, but doesn't like to. When Darry says that he doesn't think Ponyboy should be in the rumble, Ponyboy thinks,
"Oh, no, I thought in mortal fear, I've got to be in it. Right then the most important thing in my life was helping us whip the Socs. Don't let him make me stay home now. I've got to be in it." (Hinton 134)
Although Pony is opposed to fighting, he is fiercely loyal to his friends. He knows that his gang needs all the help it can get, and he is willing to fight at all cost. Darry is hesitant to let Ponyboy fight, but Sodapop convinces him that Ponyboy will be alright because they were not going to use weapons. Ponyboy tells Darry that he is ready to rumble and will get ahold of a little guy. Darry finally allows Ponyboy to participate in the rumble.