A man is what he is, Bob, and there's no breaking the mold. I tried that and I've lost. But I reckon it was in the cards from the moment I saw a freckled kid on a rail up the road there and a real man behind him, the kind that could back him for the chance another kid never had.
At the end of Chapter 14, after Shane kills both Fletcher and Wilson, Bob tries to get him to stay. Shane says he must go but is characteristically matter-of- fact about it. Shane is not happy with the fact that he had to kill two men and even questions his manhood. To him, a man is not someone who takes life or anything else away from someone, and even though he was provoked and threatened he does not think that what he did is justified. He leaves because he does not want people thinking of him as a killer—he especially wants the Starretts to remember him as a real man. He also refers to Joe as a "real man," especially when compared to himself. Shane reminds Bob to appreciate his father and suggests that even if Shane's absence Bob still has a real hero and real man to look up to. Shane leaves Bob with the idea that he is lucky indeed to have a father like Joe and instead of bemoaning the loss of Shane to feel lucky for what and whom he does have.