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Free Online Study Guide-Shane by Jack Schaefer-BookNotes Summary/Synopsis
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SHANE BY JACK SCHAEFER - FREE PLOT SUMMARY

CHAPTER 3

Summary

Bob watches his father and Shane work tirelessly on the tree stump. After a while, his mother comes out to join him. She has fixed her old hat in the style that Shane had described. Although she looks very pretty, the men are too busy to notice her. When she asks her husband to comment on her hat, Joe merely tells her not to bother them. An infuriated Marian stalks off. When the men later come inside to eat, the meal is an uncomfortable one, for Marian is unnaturally polite.

After eating, Marian busies herself making biscuits and peeling apples for a pie. The men return to their work, and Bob watches them again. Before long they are able to cut off a root and make the stump move. Bob calls out to his mother to come and watch the final proceedings.

When Marian arrives, she urges them to make use of horses to pull the stump, but both men want to do it themselves. Finally with great heaving and grunting, the stump tears loose from its last hold and topples on the ground. The moment is a triumphant one for the men. To celebrate, Shane suggests having some pie. Unfortunately, Marian has forgotten all about it, and the pie is totally burned. Marian is very upset, and no amount of cajoling her about it seems to help. She finally declares that she is going to make another pie. When it is ready and put on plates, Shane tastes the pie and says that it is the best bit of stump he has ever eaten. All of the adults laugh at the comment, which bewilders the young Bob.


Notes

Shane and Joe spend most of the chapter laboring over the removal of the dead tree stump. They are so busy with their work that they refuse to notice Marian's restyled hat. They also refuse her suggestion to use the horses to make the work easier, for they want the thrill of finishing the job on their own. The intensity with which Shane and Joe labor over the tree stump reveals their determination, strength, and tenacity. Shane works diligently on the stump in order to repay Joe for his kindness. Joe works equally as hard, for the dead stump has been troublesome to him for a long time, but he never wanted to tackle its removal alone.

Although Marian is angry that her husband scolds her for interrupting him and Shane as they work, she is still the dutiful wife and hostess. She prepares a meal for them, which she serves with exaggerated politeness, trying to hide her anger. After eating, she prepares the apple pie that she has promised to make. Unfortunately, as she watches the men finally removing the stump, she forgets all about the pie, which totally burns. Embarrassed about the ruined pie, Marian, in stubbornness, makes a new one. When it is ready and served, Shane breaks the tension by stating, "That's the best bit of stump I ever tasted." The allusion to the stump is understood by the adults, but is lost on young Bob.

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