Written by Mr. Mouseburger 23rd Feb 2006
Details submitted by wonkjim
Johnny Cade was a hero. After saving Ponyboy from drowning in a fountain by killing the Soc with a knife, Ponyboy and he run away, for fear of getting arrested.
They eventually they end up staying in an abandoned Church, where Ponyboy, the film's intellectual, reads Johnny "Gone with the Wind". The church later catches on fire, and Johnny redeems himself for the murder of the Soc by saving several children that had accidentally started the fire. Unfortunately for Johnny though, a piece of roof falls on him and seriously injures him.
Johnny stays in the hospital for a while before he dies, his last words to Ponyboy being "Stay gold" - a reference to an earlier line in the film where Ponyboy says "nothing gold can stay" [I think]. He means by these words that Ponyboy should not go to the rumble or ever fight in a gang again; he should stay golden and innocent.