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In Chapter Four, after Ponyboy and Johnny get into trouble, they go to find Dally at a party. Dally lets the boys inside when he sees that they are cold and wet, and gives them fifty dollars and a loaded gun. He also gives Ponyboy one of Buck's shirts and his own brown leather jacket. He gives them instructions to get on a freight train to Windrixville, then find an abandoned church on top of Jay Mountain.
In Chapter Five, Dally goes to see the boys at the church. He gives Ponyboy a letter from Sodapop, who suspected that Dally knew where the boys were hiding, and asked him to bring the letter to Ponyboy. It says that Darry feels terrible for the events of the night the boys ran away.
Dally tells them how he was brought into the police station because "I get hauled in for everything that happens in our turf," and how he misled the police into thinking the boys ran off to Texas. He teases Ponyboy for his new haircut and color. Then they get in the car and drive to Dairy Queen, where they "gorged on barbecue sandwiches and banana splits," since they have been starving and are tired of an all-baloney diet.
In Chapter Six, Dally seems angry as they drive back to the church from Dairy Queen, and Johnny and Ponyboy think it's because he is annoyed they didn't turn themselves in earlier, if at all, to save him trouble. But he explains "in a pleading, high voice" that he just doesn't want Johnny to get hardened in jail. Ponyboy realizes how tenderly Dally feels for Johnny, and thinks about what Dally might have been like before he was toughened on the streets and in jail.