Shane has been beaten bloody in the fight. Mr. Weir, a townsman, goes to help him, but Shane refuses to be helped. He stands upright and goes over to the Starrett family. He allows Joe to pick him up. Joe offers to pay for the damage to the saloon, but Sam Grafton says he will charge Fletcher for it. Then Mr. Weir says he will take a collection to pay for the damage. He thinks it is about time the town showed more support for the homesteaders. However, Joe insists on paying.
The Starretts and Shane make their way home in the wagon. Back home, Marian tends to Shane’s wounds. Marian is full of praise for the performance of both men in the fight. She gets emotional and breaks down in tears. Shane goes outside and Marian stops crying. Joe embraces her. He knows that Marian loves Shane. He tells her everything will be all right, and she urges him to kiss her.
Mr. Weir’s words and actions are significant because he shows the growth of community spirit, which is essential to the growth of civilization. Even though the novel lauds individualism and the strength of individual character, it also shows the importance of community.
This chapter also brings into focus what is in effect a love triangle between Joe, Marian, and Shane. This is why Marian weeps. She does not really understand her own feelings, but she certainly admires and loves Shane. Joe seems to understand, and he has confidence that his marriage is not threatened. There is never a hint of impropriety in the relations between Shane and Marian. Each is a staunchly moral person and neither would contemplate doing anything underhand or inappropriate.