Morning came too bright and too soon for Jim Hawkins and John Silver.
He had only stayed a few days, and Silver felt that although his welcome had hardly been drawn out (and sensed that it never really would have been), it was definitely time to take flight to another part of the galaxy, if only for a short time. Not that he wanted to leave. Silver would have certainly stayed forever if fate would have been kind enough to provide him such ideal circumstances. But due to his criminal behavior in the past, and the fact that the military and law that held a strong grip on the Etherium had not quite yet forgotten either his name or his crimes, Silver understood that staying with Jim was not only a risk to himself, but to the young prodigy and his mother.
Housing a criminal on Montressor meant imprisonment, and depending on the nature of that criminal's actions, such punishments could even include a death sentence.
Having no desire to put Sarah and Jim in either one of these circumstances (especially not the latter), Silver had decided that, though it panged them, it would be best if he high tailed it to some outlying planet where no one asked any questions. If only for a while.
"Here," said Jim. His voice tone had dropped considerably since the previous evening where some laughter and adventurous tales had been shared around the Hawkins' own dining table. The boy held up a bulging sack. "It's from mom," he continued, answering Silver's tacit question. "She thought you might want a few things for the road."
Silver took the bag hesitantly and opened it to find, much to his pleasure and amazement, a slew of fresh sandwiches, seasoned meats, and perps. He grinned and gazed fondly up at Jim, who, for all his great effort, did not have the emotional strength to return his friend's gaze.
"Tell your dear mother that I'm very grateful," Said Silver with a quaking in his own voice. Gently setting the bag down, he turned to gaze once more upon the Benbow Inn. A glimmer of pride flickered within his heavy heart. At least somewhere he'd made a positive difference.
"So do you know where you're going?" Jim asked with a hesitance. Silver's gaze fell back upon Jim.
"'Fraid not, Jimbo," he said with a sadness that was unmistakable. "But I'll write yeh when I get there, if that'll make yeh happy."
Jim couldn't hide the freckling happiness that bloomed in his dark eyes, and he didn't bother. Silver's face brightened slightly at the change in the boy's expression.
"It would," Jim admitted with no awkwardness. Silver nodded, a silent promise that he would do his best to keep.
With his hands on his hips, Silver gazed out over the harsh lands of Montressor. Large, burly men had already set to work to complete the day's mining. For a second, Silver's fears returned to him concerning the safety of Jim and his mother.
"When do you start school again?"
Jim shoved his hands in his coat pockets. "In a few weeks," he responded. "Mom's not too happy."
"Oh?" Silver's bottom lip pouted slightly. "Why's that?"
Jim shrugged. Silver knew it to be a lie, but understood also why Jim refused to say anything. Sarah had hoped Silver would stay on at the Inn and provide some extra help...and company.
Guilt flowed over him immediately, but everyone understood why Silver was leaving. There could be nothing done about it.
"Am I going to be able to contact you?" Jim asked suddenly.
Silver nodded. "I ain't gonna be movin' around too much. If I am I'll let yeh know first."
Jim nodded his head in understanding, then turned to gaze full into Silver's face. "Be careful," he stated suddenly. At that point, Silver could no longer hold back his tears. He scooped Jim up in his arms and hugged the boy tightly.
"You too," said Silver with a quivering voice. "And be sure to keep up your work at school," he continued. They pulled apart, sharing one last gaze. "I'm proud of you, Jimbo."
Jim beamed. "Thanks."
Silver hobbled into his longboat and started the engine. Morph buzzed questioningly around Jim's head, but Silver silently signaled him to stay. He still wanted someone he could trust to keep an eye on them all.
"I'll be seein' ya, Jimbo!" he hollered with a wave of his mechanical hand.
Jim returned the wave but said nothing. He didn't have to. The tears in his eyes said enough. Silver eventually had to look away, but the stinging in his heart, he knew, would not retreat.
"I'll be comin' back, boy," he whispered as his boat tuttered away into the horizon. "I promise yeh that."