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FREE CHAPTER SUMMARY - SHANE BY JACK SCHAEFER
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.
Shane and Joe saddle up their horses and ride into town for Ernie's funeral, which is done in grand style and is well attended. In their absence, Marian and Bob try to occupy their thoughts by playing a board game and reading. When the men return, Joe describes the funeral. As he speaks, the sound of horses is heard. Fletcher and Wilson soon appear. Fletcher smiles and begins to talk, asking Joe to sell his land and telling him he can continue to work on the farm after it is purchased. Curtly and bluntly, Joe refuses the offer, an action that infuriates Fletcher. He tells Joe that he will give him until evening to reconsider the offer. Fletcher then makes an indecent comment about Marian, trying to upset Joe. Joe's face tightens, and his hand goes to his revolver. Shane intercedes and dares Wilson to fight without his guns. Wilson refuses the offer. Joe and Shane, however, now feel that they have a valid reason to fight with Fletcher. When Fletcher and Wilson leave, Marian's utter fright is obvious. She has feared that both Joe and Shane were going to be killed by Wilson.
Joe and Shane go into town for Ernie's funeral. When they return, they tell Marian all about the grand affair. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Fletcher and Wilson. Fletcher again offers to purchase Joe's land, an offer that Joe bluntly refuses. Fletcher is obviously infuriated at the rejection. To try and anger Joe, he makes a rude remark about someone else "enjoying this place of yours and that woman there in the window." Joe is so angered by the comment that he reaches for his gun. Shane, however, intercedes and challenges Wilson to fight him without his guns. Wilson refuses the offer and departs with Fletcher. Joe and Shane now feel that they have a valid reason to fight back against Fletcher, further foreshadowing the outcome of the plot.