Ali seethed. She wanted to wipe the smiles off these smug cops. She had gone to the police station.
"Let me get this straight," one of them said, smirking over her blond head to the other cop.
"There's this other kid who looks just like Daniel LaRusso, he's from Texas or somewhere around there, you don't know his name or anything else about him. Is this right?"
Ali nodded miserably. It sounded ridiculous. Worse, it sounded made up. Why in hell had she come here?
"Yet, yet, you know that he killed John Lawrence, is this also correct?"
She nodded again. She did know. But what good did it do?
"O.K. So what should we do? Search all of California, and Texas, and the states around Texas, for a nameless kid that looks like Daniel LaRusso?"
Ali glared. Well, what did she expect? What had she wanted them to do? She left, cheeks red, feeling stupid.
Mr. Myagi was coming to a similar conclusion but he had more information than Ali. He had taught Johnny how to trim the bonsai trees and had noticed the switchblade in his back pocket.
Daniel was being bullied here, but it was new and Daniel wasn't dealing with it well, was unable to defend himself, but was not at the point of killing his tormentors. Johnny, on the other hand, was not merely bullied but abused, savagely beaten on occasion, and was at the point of kill or be killed. Myagi had seen it in his eyes.
And now he was gone. But the boys he had come with were still here. Myagi saw them smoking near the pool, heard their out of place twang accents. But it wouldn't do to go to the police. Not yet.
While Ali was at the police station Lucille was at a lawyer's office. He seemed young for a lawyer, and he looked Italian with his jet black hair and eyes, olive skin. But she knew by the tongue twister name on his gold name plaque that he was Greek.
"I could defend him," he said slowly, picking at his teeth with a tooth pick. Lucille sighed, not wanting to ask the question that curled on her tongue, sour and bitter. Money.
She worked at a restaurant and after rent and bills and money for gas and food what did she have left? How could she pay this man?
But the thought was passing, of course she'd pay him. There was more than one way to skin a cat, as her mother had been fond of saying. She'd get another job, she'd sell all their possessions, she'd sell her body on the street corner before she let a public defender take Daniel's life into his overworked hands.
"Let's go visit Johnny, huh, Dal?" Ponyboy said. Dallas was smoking and he had a dark, dangerous look on his face. Like he was thinking about squeezing the life out of Bill.
Bill hadn't come back as both boys knew he wouldn't. Ponyboy thought it was kinda funny, Dal's murderous look. Dal wasn't mad so much that Bill took the car and Buck would beat the tar out of Dal for that. No. Dallas was mad he'd been crossed.
"And how are we supposed to get there?" Dallas said, lighting a cigarette from the end of the last one. Chain smoking. Ponyboy looked at him patiently. He knew it was nothing for Dally to hot wire a car. Hell, even Ponyboy knew how.
Dallas stared at him, pitched the cigarette half smoked into the ashtray, stood up.
"Alright. Let's go,"
Bill drove, feeling the tension ease as the miles slipped under him, as he left the San Fernando Valley behind.
He adjusted the rearview mirror, glanced in it. The black cadillac had been behind him for awhile now. Bill looked again, could it be? No. No, of course not. But when he took a turn they took a turn and Bill's stomach turned to ice, his mouth was dry, his head felt like a helium balloon, ready to float away.
He was driving a stretch of highway that went through nothing, barren fields, blue/gold sky, emptiness. He saw the black cadillac, black hole, the world cut away in the shape of a car.
"Oh fuck me," Bill said, and squeezed his eyes shut, let go of the steering wheel.
Ponyboy was amazed at the redwoods. They reached up for the sky and were somehow majestic. Each one was like a cathedral. The sunlight slanted in between them, all gold and dusty, red needles beneath their feet.
The old hippie church was falling apart, the wood looked gray. Johnny was sleeping inside.
"Wake up," Dallas said, kicking at the rotting pew Johnny was lying on.
"Hey, Dal. Hey, Ponyboy," He sat up, rubbing his eyes, "are the cops after me?"
Dallas grinned, brushed the dust off the pew and sat down.
"No. Get this. You know that kid you met at the beach, the one who threw his bike away?" Johnny nodded.
"They arrested him. The kids who jumped you were looking for him, that other kid. They told the cops that you were him, Daniel LaRusso, somethin' like that,"
"What?" Johnny glanced at Ponyboy, squinted at Dallas, "they arrested that kid?"
"Yeah. Yeah. Isn't that great?"
Ponyboy looked from Dallas to Johnny, intrigued by their differing reactions. Dallas looked evilly happy, only concerned that Johnny stay out of trouble. Johnny stared hard at his sneakers, ran his hand through his hair.
"He didn't do it," Johnny said softly.
"Yeah, no shit. But at least the cops ain't huntin' for you,"