It's quite possible that Dade lets the woman go because he feels sorry for her. Also, if we follow the text, it's quite clear that Dade has never been comfortable with the way his father expects him to deal with shoplifters.
As a young boy, Dade is torn between the differing expectations of his parents. While his mother believes that Dade will achieve some vague quality of "limited fame," his father prefers him to think about more practical matters. Since Dade will inherit the store, his father expects him to learn the intricacies of running a grocery successfully.
However, Dade spends most of his time contemplating the sky after he cleans the dead insects off the star-shaped incandescent light fixture on the store roof. Meanwhile, his father becomes extremely frustrated with him and worries that Dade will ruin his future. On the other hand, Dade's mother thinks that he just needs more time to navigate his "worldly curiosity" towards the realm of some grand discovery. For his part, Dade...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 633 words.)