The Outsiders Chapters 9 - 10 Summary

It is the night of the rumble between the greasers and the Socs. Ponyboy and his brothers make sure they look their best so the Socs can see they aren't trash. Ponyboy is trying to find out why his brothers and Steve Randle, who is at Ponyboy's house, like to fight. They all have different reasons: Sodapop likes to fight because of the action and competition, Steve likes to hurt his opponents, and Darry wants to prove how strong he is to the other guys. Ponyboy will fight, but he doesn't like to.

Even though Darry doesn't know Ponyboy is feeling ill, he still tries to keep his little brother from participating in the fight. He thinks after losing a lot of weight, while hiding out in the church, Ponyboy might not be up to an all-out brawl. But Ponyboy insists he will be able to hold his own and promises to fight only the smaller guys.

They find out the greaser side will be missing more than just Dally and Johnny, because Tim Shepard's younger brother, Curly, is in the reformatory, so he can't fight.

At the vacant lot where the fight is to occur, Tim Shepard's gang and a gang of boys from Brumly, a town outside of Ponyboy's, gather with Ponyboy and his friends. They number about twenty guys and are ready to run the Socs out of their territory. It is decided that Darry will start the fight for the greasers.

The Socs show up looking as if they are dressed to go to the movies. Paul Holden, an ex-football teammate of Darry's, is chosen to start the fight for the Socs. Paul and Darry used to be friends, but now they hate each other. Darry hates Paul because he represents the life Darry wants and Paul has nothing but a look of contempt, pity, and hate mixed together for Darry.

The two circle each other until Dally shows up shouting for them to wait for him, to join the battle. This distraction is what Paul is waiting for and he uses it to slug Darry in the jaw. The fight starts in earnest, as the twenty-two Socs take on the twenty greasers.

Dally admits to Ponyboy he used the switch blade, he borrowed from Two-Bit, to convince a nurse to release him from the hospital. Ponyboy doesn't fare well in the fight, as he needs Darry to rescue him from a severe beating. Ponyboy tries to help Dally fight, because his arm is still injured, but he ends up being beaten by some Socs.

Just as Ponyboy is about to lose consciousness he hears someone yelling. They are saying the Socs are running away from the fight. The greasers have won the fight.

Dally grabs Ponyboy and drags the dazed and dizzy boy to a car, so they can speed to the hospital. Johnny is dying and wants to see Ponyboy. The two reach Johnny in time to hear his last words, which are to tell Ponyboy to "stay gold". Dally runs from the room after Johnny dies.

Ponyboy has to walk home, because Dally took the car. On his way home, Ponyboy is picked up by a stranger who offers him a ride. The man sees Ponyboy is bleeding from a head wound, so he insists on taking Ponyboy to the house. Ponyboy walks into the house and sees Soda, Steve, and Darry are all nursing injuries, but the scene seems surreal to him. He is still dizzy and not allowing himself to accept Johnny's death.

After he informs the others of Johnny's death, he tells them about Dally's reaction to it. They know Dally is going to do something drastic and they are right. He calls them to ask for help, because the police are chasing him, after he robbed a grocery store. He asks them to meet him at the vacant lot.

The boys arrive at the lot at about the same time as Dally and the police. Dally pulls his unloaded gun on the police and they respond by shooting him to death. Ponyboy realizes this is what Dally wanted, because he couldn't stand living anymore.

After Dally dies, Ponyboy begins to feels dizzy and passes out in the vacant lot. He is taken to the hospital and after a while allowed to go home, to be cared for by his brothers. He is suffering from a concussion, exhaustion, and shock so he needs lots of rest. His brothers are very worried about him and don't leave his side. He is asleep and delirious from Saturday night to Tuesday. He has no memory of what happened after he passed out, when he awakens.

Darry tells Ponyboy during his hospital stay he asked for Soda, him, and their parents, but he mainly asked for Soda. This worries Ponyboy, because he is concerned he didn't ask for Darry. Soda reassures him that he did ask for Darry.

He is also worried he has missed too much school to make up the work and he has let down the track team. Soda tells him to let it go, there is next year to run track.

Ponyboy notices his brothers look like they haven't slept in days, which is the truth. The doctor had to tell them to go home or else they would end up in the hospital from exhaustion.

The boys loose two friends in two totally different ways, but they feel the loses with the same deep sadness. Ponyboy succumbs to the effects of his life on the run and the injuries he received in the fight. He realizes, after he awakens from a period of unconsciousness and delirium, that he needs to make Darry feel he and Soda have equal importance in his life. He must come to terms with the death of his two friends and how life choices played a part in those deaths.

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