And now, having simmered merrily along for five chapters, suddenly our story begins to boil. Mr. Fletcher has returned and is starting to ride prod on the homesteaders, so to speak. This starts to get under everyone's skin... everyone except maybe Shane. Bob says he used to "wonder how all the slow-climbing tenseness in our valley could be so focused on one man and he seem to be so indifferent to it" (p. 49). Though of course, we get the feeling that Shane's not so much indifferent as... accepting? Almost wanting the badness to focus on him and away from the Starretts and their friends?
So Shane lets Bob tag along as he goes to town and invites a confrontation. And he gets a confrontation, though it doesn't go down the way anyone was quite expecting.
"Why should a man be smashed because he has courage and does what he's told. Life's a dirty business, Bob. I could like that boy" (p. 54).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Do you think Shane suspected how all this would end up, and that's part of why he decided to hire on at the Starrett farm?