When Sal came back to Denver, he found Carlo and was surprised to learn that Carlo and Dean had also been in Central City, going around to different bars. Dean then stole a car and they sped back to Denver. Sal wrote his aunt for more money, so that he could go to San Francisco. He told Carlo that he wanted to leave, but delayed his trip because Dean had arranged for him to meet a woman named Rita Bettencourt.
Not only does Dean drink and take drugs, but he also has no problems stealing cars, apparently. His non-conformist behavior goes all the way into theft—he just takes what he wants. Meanwhile, Sal is eager to get back on the road. Unlike many of the bums and vagabonds Sal hangs out with, he has the fortunate ability to just write to his aunt for more money when he needs it.
Sal says that Rita was “a nice little girl, simple and true, and tremendously frightened of sex.” They had sex and then “made vague plans to meet in Frisco.” Sal walked Rita home and then lay down outside with some hobos, which made him want “to get back on that road.”
Sal said goodbye to Roland Major, Ray Rawlins, and Tim Gray. He wandered around Denver for a few days, unable to find Dean or Carlo. Sal says that he simply “had to go.” He finally found Carlo and listened to some more of his poetry. Sal went to where Eddie was staying and took back the shirt he had leant him way back in Nebraska.
Despite his attachment to Dean, Sal has a hard time finding him in Denver. He says goodbye to all his friends, including Carlo with his poetry, and prepares to resume his travels.
Sal went to the bus station and bought a ticket to San Francisco. Dean called Sal right before he left and said that he and Carlo would join Sal in San Francisco. Sal realizes that he “hadn’t talked to Dean for more than five minutes,” all the time he had been in Denver.
Even though a large reason for his traveling to Denver was to see Dean, Sal hardly spent much time with him there. And now he feels the need to leave Denver already to head further west.