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Free Study Guide for Shane by Jack Schaefer

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Fletcher and his men again leave Shane alone. He and Joe, however, remain cautious, fearing another attack. When Bob questions his father about their caution, Joe explains that the fight with Fletcher has only just begun.

Shane and Joe learn that a stranger named Wilson has arrived in town carrying two guns. The news upsets Shane, and he begins to mobilize for action, fearing the worst. Wilson does not take long to attack. Ernie Wright, the farmer with the hottest temper, is shot by Wilson when he refuses to sell his land to Fletcher.

After the shooting, the farmers gather at Joe's house to discuss a plan of action. During the heated discussion, some of the farmers criticize Shane. Blaming the violence on him, they are quick to condemn his presence in the valley. Joe defends his friend and reminds the farmers that Shane's abilities will surely help them in their fight against Fletcher. At the end of the meeting, they decide to wait a few days without taking any action. They want to see what happens next.

All the adults in the Starrett household are nervous and tense. Marian is beside herself with worry, and Shane’s face is a picture of desperation. Joe understands their concern and wonders aloud to his wife if perhaps they should just leave the farm to avoid trouble. He also fears that Shane may desert them in their time of need. Bob, overhearing the conversation, shouts at this father that Shane would never run away. Joe agrees and decides that he must stay and fight Fletcher.


The lack of an immediate retaliation from Fletcher is just the proverbial calm before the storm. Knowing that he and his men will strike back in retaliation for Morgan’s defeat, everyone in the Starrett household is tense and worried. Joe even questions whether he can count on Shane’s help and wonders if it might be best to leave the farm and avoid trouble. It is the young Bob who reminds him that Shane would never desert the family in a time of trouble. Joe agrees and decides to stay and fight.

The evil ways of Fletcher become apparent in this chapter. He brings Wilson, a gun-toting stranger, to town. Before long, he and Fletcher pick an argument with Ernie Wright about selling his land. When Wright refuses and loses his temper, Wilson shoots him dead. The other farmers react by blaming the violence on Shane. Joe tries to change their thinking by reminding them that Shane can be a big help in the fight that is sure to follow.

Shane is deeply affected, to the point of desperation, by what is happening in the town. He has been trying to forget his gunslinging past by settling down to a calm, settled life on the Starrett farm. Now, with Wilson in town, he fears that he will be called upon to once again use his own gun, which he had hoped he had put away forever.


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