Shane is no longer serene. He has become restless, seemingly with a need to justify himself. He explains to Bob why he had to beat Chris up. He had given him a chance, but a man also has to think about self-respect. He couldn’t allow Chris to disrespect him a second time.
Bob overhears a conversation between Marian and Shane. Marian says she knows he is worried about what he might do if the violence escalates. Marian is also aware that Shane has been thinking of moving on, but she asks him to stay, because Joe needs him. He cannot stand up against Fletcher without Shane’s help. It would be awful if they had to leave the farm, she says. Joe had promised her when they married that he would build a place for them, and he built the house with his own hands. Shane reassures her that they will not lose their farm.
This is a transitional chapter in which there is no outer action but there is an inner, psychological shift. Shane is fighting a quiet battle within himself. Bob sees that he is “restless with some far hidden desperation.” Shane seems to be fully aware of what he has got himself into and decides, as his conversation with Marian shows, to see it through, whatever happens. It seems that the farm means a lot to him and he is ready to defend it, even if that means slipping back into the violent ways that he so much wanted to leave behind.