Chapter Summary:
The Outsiders
Chapter 8

Modified from CliffsNotes

When Two-Bit and Ponyboy arrive at the hospital, the nurses won't let them see Johnny. However, the doctor permits their visit because Johnny has been asking for them and it "can't hurt now." With that foreboding statement, the boys go in and find Johnny awake and able to talk. Johnny knows that his condition is not good, and he is afraid of dying. He tells them that 16 years is not enough living and that it is just not fair. Johnny's mother shows up to visit him, but Johnny refuses to see her: "Tell her to leave me alone. For once." He passes out after this incident, and it is evident that he is experiencing a great deal of pain.

Pony and Two-Bit also visit Dally, who is still in the hospital. He is his old self, and resents the fact that he will not be able to take part in the rumble that night. He asks Two-Bit for his black-handled switchblade and, upon receiving it, places it under his pillow.

The boys leave Dally and decide to take the bus home. Two-Bit leaves Pony at the bus stop while he goes into the gas station for cigarettes. Pony has almost fallen asleep when Two-Bit returns, and Two-Bit questions his health. Ponyboy begs him not to tell Darry that he is ill and assures him that as soon as he takes a handful of aspirins he'll be fine and ready to rumble. Two-Bit reluctantly agrees.

Ponyboy has a bad feeling about the rumble. He tries to convey it to Two-Bit, but Two-Bit doesn't want to understand. He accuses Pony of being a chicken, but Pony defends himself and says that it isn't about being chicken, it is about the awful feeling that something bad is going to happen at the rumble.

Cherry Valance is at the vacant lot when the boys go by. She speaks to both Pony and Two-Bit and assures them that the Socs are going to follow the rules — no weapons. Pony asks her whether she is going to visit Johnny in the hospital, but she says that she just can't because Johnny had killed her boyfriend. She doesn't try to defend Bob's actions, but she laments the fact that he is dead.

Pony doesn't want to hear her regret about Bob's death and questions her sincerity in being a spy: "Don't you ever try to give us handouts and then feel high and mighty about it." Pony instantly regrets saying this, thereby slipping back into old greaser habits. He tries to counter that statement by asking her about the sunset, and she realizes his contrition and smiles. As they part he notices that she has green eyes, the same as his.