In The Outsiders, why is Ponyboy proud of his brothers for saying in court that Dally is "a real good buddy of ours"?

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It is the judge who asks Darry and Sodapop about Dally during the hearing concerning the death of Bob Sheldon. Dallas Winston was the most street-wise of Pony's greaser gang. He had grown up on the streets of New York City before moving to Tulsa. Dally was proud of the large "file on him down at the police station," and he had lied to the cops about the whereabouts of Pony and Johnny to throw them off their trail. Dally was dead now, the victim of a police bullet in his suicide-by-cop finale after robbing the local convenience store. So, Dally's history must have been well known to the judge when he asked the Curtis brothers about their late friend. Pony wasn't sure what their answer might be since

I didn't like him, but he was smart and you had to respect him.  (Chapter 1)

Dally's "blazing" blue eyes, "cold with a hatred of the whole world," had always scared Ponyboy, but since Johnny and Dally were pals, Pony felt loyal to Dally as well. Darry and Soda felt the same way, and when the judge asked them if Dally was "a real good buddy," he received a "Yes, sir," answer. The positive response may have backfired had the judge thought the Curtis brothers participated in the same illegal activities as Dally, and Soda "looked at me like he was sentencing me to the electric chair..." But their honesty made Pony

... real proud of both of them. Dally had been one of our gang and we wouldn't desert him.  (Chapter 12)

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