Dally shows his heroic side in this chapter.
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The relationship between Dally and Johnny grows stronger in this chapter, and it becomes clear that, while Johnny feels hero-worship toward Dally, Dally wants to protect Johnny and keep him from turning out the way he himself has. As they drive back to the church, he explains, "You get hardened in jail. I don't want that to happen to you. Like it happened to me..." His emotional outburst makes Ponyboy think of him before he was hardened and tough, and reflect on how he came to be that way.