Chapter Summary:
The Outsiders
Chapter 7

Modified from CliffsNotes

As the three brothers wait at the hospital to find out about their friends' conditions, reporters bombard them with questions. Finally, Darry convinces the reporters to leave, but the nurses still will not give Pony, Soda, and Darry any information about the conditions of Dally and Johnny. Darry manages to convince the doctor that they, the three Curtis brothers, are the only real family that these two boys have, so the doctor gives them the bad news.

Dally's one arm is severely burned, but he will eventually regain full use of it. Johnny is in critical condition; his back is broken and he is suffering with third-degree burns. If he lives, he will not be able to walk for the rest of his life. The realization that if he lives, he would have to stay in his parents' house, a place he hates, for the rest of his life is too much for the brothers. They decide to go home for the night.

Ponyboy is the first one up the next morning and is making breakfast when Steve and Two-Bit stop by. They tease Ponyboy about being a hero and show him the story about him in the paper. The coverage is very positive for the brothers, and the final line states that the boys should be allowed to stay together. This is the first time Pony realizes that he and Soda might be put in a boys' home.

Ponyboy isn't feeling well, but he and Two-Bit leave the house and walk toward the hospital to visit Dally and Johnny. The blue Mustang reappears and eventually pulls over. Ponyboy recognizes Randy Adderson (Marcia's boyfriend) and the tall Soc who had tried to drown him. Pony hates them: it is their fault Bob is dead, Johnny is dying, and he and Soda might be placed in a boys' home.

Randy asks him why he saved those children at the burning church. Randy says that he would never have done it, and that he can't believe that a greaser would do anything like that. Pony explains that it wasn't a greaser or a Soc issue — the decision is dependent on the individual. Randy states that he isn't going to fight in the big rumble that is planned for that night. The fight isn't going to solve anything and no one will really win. As Ponyboy gets out of the car, Randy says, "Thanks, grease . . . I didn't mean that, I meant, thanks, kid."

"My name's Ponyboy. . . . Nice talkin' to you, Randy." Ponyboy thinks, "Socs are just guys after all. Things are rough all over, but it was better that way. That way you could tell the other guy was human too."