The wail of a siren grew louder and then police car pulled up across the street from the lot. Doors slammed as the policemen leaped out. Dally had reached the circle of light under the streetlamp, and skidding to a halt, he turned and jerked a black object from his waistband.
Pony remembered his voice: I been carryin' a heater. It ain't loaded, but it sure does held a bluff. It was only yesterday that Dally had told Johnny him that. But yesterday was years ago. A lifetime ago.
Please, not him...not him and Johnny both.
Dally raised the gun, and Pony thought: You blasted fool. They don't know you're only bluffing. And even as the policemen's guns spit fire into the night I knew that was what Dally wanted.
He was jerked half around by the impact of the bullets, then slowly crumpled with a look of grim triumph on his face. He was dead before he hit the ground.
They knew that was what he wanted, even as the lot echoed with the cracks of shots, even as they begged silently, they knew he would be dead, because Dally Winston wanted to be dead and he always got what he wanted.
Nobody would write editorials praising Dally. He died violent and young and desperate, just like they all knew he'd die someday. He died gallant. Steve stumbled forward with a sob, but Soda caught him by the shoulders.