In the opening paragraph of "Just Lather, That's All," the mood is fearful and tense. This is established, primarily, by the description of the trembling barber and the reference to the Captain's clothing. These items, particularly the "gun holster" and "bullet-studded belt" evoke images of war and murder and suggest that violence might occur at some point in the story.
This tense mood continues as the story progresses. The images of the hanging soldiers, the oppressive heat and the barber's internal dilemma over whether to kill the Captain all contribute to this atmosphere.
Relief comes in the final lines of the story when the writer employs an image of rebirth to describes the Captain's skin:
He rubbed his hands over his skin and felt it fresh, like new.
The barber decides not to kill the Captain, and his inner peace is emphasized through his physical description: his shirt is "soaked," for instance, but he is no longer actively sweating. His conflict has, therefore, come to an end.