Chapter 14Shane rides into town. Bob cannot resist the impulse to follow, and he runs after him. Shane sees him and tells him to go home. But Bob ignores his instruction and follows him into town. Shane enters the saloon. Bob adopts his usual perch in the general store where he can see into the saloon. The saloon is crowded. Shane looks around. He sees Wilson, who looks surprised. He also sees Chris, whose arm is in a sling, and nods at him. Chris smiles back. Shane asks where Fletcher is, but no one answers. Wilson asks, where is Starrett? Shane and Wilson are about five yards apart. Wilson says he has no quarrel with Shane. It is Joe he is after. Shane responds by goading him. A gun battle between them is inevitable. Wilson is hit twice and dies. Shane is also hit, above the waist, to the side. Shane then fires again, killing Fletcher, who had appeared on the balcony and was about to shoot Shane. Shane, although wounded, summons all his strength and walks out of the saloon, telling everyone not to follow him.Bob rushes up to him outside. He gets Shane to tell him that Wilson would never have been able to shoot him had he been in better practice. He says this just to please Bob. He then tells Bob to go home to his parents and take care of them. He watches Shane depart, knowing that he is not going back to the Starretts. Mr. Weir takes Bob home.
AnalysisThe climax that has long been building now arrives, and the outcome is inevitable, although the fact that Shane is wounded is perhaps not quite so predictable. However, Shane’s departure from the valley is entirely to be expected. Although he has done what he had to do, he does not belong there, in the new farming community that is growing up in the valley. He belongs to the more violent ways of the past.