Bryon and Mark go to the hospital to see Baryon’s mom again. She notices the stitches on Mark’s head, and he tells her that he was in a fight. She accepts the explanation without question, and Bryon tells us that his mother never gets hysterical over her boys fighting. Like drinking, she would prefer they didn’t do it, but also seems to understand that she can’t stop it. They stop by Mike’s room. He’s upset because his father recently visited and yelled at him. Mike says that he wishes he were dead, which depresses Bryon.
While Mark days to cheer Mike up, Bryon visits Cathy at the snack bar. Bryon admires Catchy intelligence and courage, and how she always says exactly what she thinks. He likes her a great deal, but is afraid to show it too much. He wants her to be “crazy about” him. When she mentions that Pony called to ask her out, Bryon reacts casually but is privately filled with Jealous rage. Cathy says she told Pony she was busy. Relieved, Bryon says he’ll pick her up for a date Friday night. After they leave the hospital, Bryon tells Mark that they are going to hustle some pool.
He needs to get some money together so he can take Cathy out. To get started, they borrow five dollars from M, who only asks that they pay him back by the next day. At the bar, Charlie is in a great mood because the Army wouldn’t take him for the draft on account of his police record. He points out two men from Texas whom he thinks Mark and Bryon can hustle at pool, but warns them to be careful. The boys successfully hustle the men, one of whom calls himself Dirty Dave, and are delighted with their winnings.
They leave the bar soon after the Texans, who are waiting In a nearby dark alley with a gun and brass knuckles. Before the men take their vengeance, however, Charlie appears at the other end of the alley with a sawed-off shotgun and orders them to drop their weapons. As the boys turn to leave with Charlie, one of the Texans lunges for his gun and fires a shot. Mark grabs the shotgun and fires back, but they manage to escape before the boys realize that Charlie Is dead from a bullet to the head.
In the aftermath of Charlie’s death, Bryon Is riddled with grief and guilt. The local police, who respected Charlie, give the boys Charlie’s car. Bryon can’t stop thinking about how their Irresponsible behavior caused Charlie’s death. Mark Is less emotional about It. He points out that Charlie had his reasons for keeping a shotgun around In the first place, and that Charlie knew what he was getting Into. Bryon finds himself spending more time with Cathy because he can talk with her more easily about his feelings.
As Cathy and Bryon grow closer, Mark and Bryon grow further apart. Bryon notices that Mark Is becoming Jealous of the time he spends with Cathy. At the end of the chapter, Bryon sums up the situation by saying, “l was changing and he wasn’t. ” That Was Then, This Is Now By Fresno_soon on Marks head, and he tells her that he was in a fight. She accepts the explanation with their winnings. They leave the bar soon after the Texans, who are waiting in a Charlie is dead from a bullet to the head. In the aftermath of Charlie’s death, Bryon is riddled with grief and guilt.