Chapter 7 Summary

A crowd of reporters comes into the hospital waiting room, and Ponyboy answers their questions. Afterward, the doctor explains to Ponyboy and his brothers that Dallas will be okay within a few weeks, but he will have some scarring. Johnny will be crippled for life if he survives.

The boys can do nothing more at the hospital so they go home to bed. In the morning, Ponyboy gets up first. He is cooking his family’s usual breakfast of eggs and chocolate cake when Two-Bit and Steve arrive with a morning paper. The front page is covered with stories about Ponyboy and the gang. There is a story about the fire, another about the fight with the Socs that ended in murder, and a third about Ponyboy and his brothers. Reading the articles, Ponyboy learns that he will go to juvenile court for running away from home and that Johnny will be tried for manslaughter even though Cherry insists he acted in self-defense.

Darry does not want to leave Ponyboy alone, but he cannot afford to stay home from work. Two-Bit offers to hang around for the day, and he tells stories while Ponyboy cleans the house. When that job is finished, Ponyboy and Two-Bit walk around town. Soon they see the blue Mustang, and several Socs get out. Ponyboy blames these boys for the mess with Johnny. He wants to fight, but Two-Bit says all fights are off until that evening’s rumble.

One of the Socs, Randy, asks to speak to Ponyboy alone. Randy wants to know why Ponyboy saved the kids in the fire. “I would have let those kids burn to death,” he says. After a moment, he adds that he never would have thought a greaser would save them either. Ponyboy says it does not matter whether a person is a Soc or a greaser in making a decision like that. The individual chooses for himself.

Randy says he is not going to the rumble. He tells Ponyboy all about Bob, the boy Johnny killed, and explains that he is too sick of the fighting and cruelty to take part in it anymore. He wants to run away, but Ponyboy says that will not help. He is seeing Randy with some level of empathy now, and he says he would help if he could. “No, you wouldn’t,” Randy says. “I’m a Soc. You get a little money and the whole world hates you.” “No,” Ponyboy replies. “You hate the whole world.” He adds that he thinks Randy would have saved the kids in the fire. He has decided that Randy is not a Soc but a regular guy. After this conversation, Ponyboy lights a cigarette and thinks about how good it is to know that the people on the other side are human beings too.