Joe and Shane attend Wright’s funeral in town. When they come home they report to Marian about it. The townspeople seem to be coalescing around the homesteaders, and support for Fletcher is diminishing. Joe’s stock is also rising in the community. He gave a well-received speech at the funeral.
Fletcher rides up to the Starrett home. He brings Wilson and two other men with him. Fletcher appears to be friendly, saying he wishes the killing the previous day could have been avoided. Then he says he is getting rid of Morgan and wants to employ Joe as his foreman. He also wants Shane to be his driving trail boss. He also offers to buy Joe’s farm, and says Joe could still live there if he wanted to.
Joe is surprised by Fletcher’s offer. He asks what would happen to the other homesteaders, and Fletcher says they would have to leave. Joe refuses the offer. Fletcher is furious. He increases his offer from one thousand dollars to twelve hundred. He tells Starrett to think about it, and he wants an answer by that evening, at Grafton’s saloon. He rides off. Wilson taunts Starrett and for a moment it looks as if Joe is preparing to shoot his rifle. Then Shane intervenes, and he and Wilson exchange insults. Wilson rides off.
As in chapter 10, this chapter shows the growth of community. The homesteaders are being accepted as part of the town. Both individualism and a sense of community are necessary if civilization is to progress.