The story begins with a mysterious figure traveling toward the Starett’s farm. The young child of Joe and Marian Starett, Bob Starett, watches as this figure slowly reveals itself to be a man on horseback. This man calls himself Shane. This traveler wears different colors than the Staretts are used to seeing. Shane is shrouded in mystery, but Joe finds compassion in his heart to allow him to stay a night.
Bob becomes fascinated with the visitor. Shane helps Joe with the work around the ranch. The two men overcome an annoying stump that was strongly rooted in the ground. Shane is then invited to stay indefinitely.
Fletcher visits the ranch one day warning the Staretts to get packing. Fletcher is a greedy landowner who is bent on owning all of the land in the prairie. He threatens the safety of their family and their friends.
Shane is sent out to the local town saloon to pick up soda pop and some new clothes. When Chris, a man who belongs to Fletcher’s crew, confronts him; Shane chooses to stand down and not get himself into any trouble.
Word spreads of this confrontation and insults the reputation of the Staretts and Shane. Shane heads back into the town to beat up Chris and ends up breaking his arm. The teasing stops and their reputation is restored.
One day, the Staretts head into town for supplies and talk to Bob’s teacher. Shane spends time in the saloon waiting for the Staretts. Four of Fletchers men confront him. He is able to hold off the gang for a while until he is held by two of Fletcher’s men. Joe comes rushing into the saloon and frees Shane. They work together to beat Fletcher’s men. Bob and Marian watch, as they...