"You sure about this?" Father sounded genuinely concerned, which was perhaps the strangest thing to happen yet on this strangest of days.
"Outside the gate, ain't no more protection. Old Wadnell's wards won't stick on you, you go down the road. You're all on your own, down the road." It had all been said before, of course, but his Father was never shy of repetition. "Ain't nobody coming to your rescue, you run into troubles."
"I understand." He hefted the bindle stick onto his shoulder, checked the position of the morning sun for about the tenth time. "Best be off, now."
He opened the gate, only halfway, only enough to pass through, closed it behind him. He lingered, hesitating without looking back.
"I wish you had more than a knife." Not 'I wish I had more than a knife to give you'. But then that was the way of things, always.
"It'll do. I know how to use it."
He took a step, then another. His boots fit well, thankfully; they were his most important possession now, besides the knife.
"Hope she's worth it," came his father's voice from behind him.
He chose to mishear. "I'll miss you too."