Did the boys return the horse because they were conscience-stricken or because they were afraid?

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The answer to this is a bit on the elusive side.  I certainly don't think that John Byro inspired fear in the traditional sense of the word.  Part of the reason they returned the horse might have been because Byro's kindness and generous nature helped allow them to make the...

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The answer to this is a bit on the elusive side.  I certainly don't think that John Byro inspired fear in the traditional sense of the word.  Part of the reason they returned the horse might have been because Byro's kindness and generous nature helped allow them to make the right decision.  Rather than motivating out of fear,  Byro's demeanor helped the boys understand the need to return the horse.  In this light, the boys begin to understand why there has to be some moral order, some structure, that guides individual actions.  The return of the horse demonstrates this.  I am sure that there was some level of fear in that both boys understood that taking the horse was not in the pure sense of moral right, but their decision to return it was motivated out of the notion of trying to "do right."

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