Poor Bob. He seems so young and lost as he wanders around the farm, unable to make himself actually do anything, but also unable to sit down with the adults until he's exhausted a few restless options.
But returning to the adults isn't much better. Joe's making speeches about how he knows Shane will take care of Marian and Bob, which of course sends Shane off to the barn to put on his gun, his old clothes, and his former self.
And I love Shane here, more than ever, as he prepares to go take down the baddies in Joe's stead. He makes me want to cry -- he's so Shakespearean, somehow. Makes me think of Hamlet's "The readiness is all" speech. He knows what needs doing, and he's ready for whatever may happen in the process.
They knew that talk is meaningless when a common knowledge is already there (p. 98).
All that mattered was the length of the shadows creeping across the yard as the sun drove down the afternoon sky (p. 99).
"Things could be worse. It helps a man to know that if anything happens to him, his family will be in better hands than his own (p. 100).
You could see now that for the first time this man who had been living with us, who was one of us, was complete, was himself in the final effect of his being (p. 101).
Slim and dark in the doorway, he seemed somehow to fill the whole frame (p. 102).
"There's no man living can tell me what I can't do. Not even you, Joe" (p. 103).
"Tell him no man need be ashamed of being beaten by Shane" (p. 103).
"We have battered down words that might have been spoken between us and that was as it should be" (p. 104).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Joe believes that if he faced down Wilson and Fletcher and died in the process, Shane would marry Marian and take over the ranch. Do you think that would actually have happened? Could Shane have stayed there as a farmer/rancher?