Uncle Ben Would Be So Proud...

Adameus saw Gidrick and called him over, “Hey there, son, sit and talk with me for a bit?”

The boy bounded over eagerly, “Sure!”

They sat with their backs against a large rock. Adameus had a hand full of pebbles he was pitching at nothing in particular about three meters in front of them, and Gidrick carved the ground with a twig.

“I wanted to talk with you about your skill at slight-of-hand,” Adameus began.

Gidrick smiled, “It’s fun!”

Adameus nodded, “Aye, it’s fun. It can also be very dangerous.”

Gidrick froze and turned to look at Adameus with concern evident on his face, “What do you mean ‘dangerous’?”

Glad that he had the boy’s complete attention, he dropped the pebbles to the ground and returned the eye contact, “I’ve taught you a valuable skill, but with it comes responsibility. I’ve trusted you with a secret because I believe you would never betray that trust.”

Gidrick’s brow creased as he tried to follow what Adameus was getting at.

“Coin tricks and little pranks can be fun and very entertaining, right? Sure they are. In time, you could do all kinds of tricks that could amuse a crowd for hours. I could even make some suggestion regarding showmanship and whatnot. And that bit with my pendant – I was so proud of you.”

Gidrick smiled brightly.

“But that’s just the kind of think I was talking about. Not everyone would be so amused. There are people that are not as fun-loving who wouldn’t appreciate being fooled like that. They might actually get angry just because you touched something that didn’t belong to you without permission. You can see how that could happen, couldn’t you? In fact, once they know that you are able to take things even from their very person without them knowing about it, they could start to be distrusting of you. Then, one day, somebody misplaces his coin purse. Nobody took it, he just dropped it somewhere, but his first assumption is that someone stole it. So, people start to look at you because they know you have that kind of skill. Someone might accuse you of taking the purse, even though you didn’t. You could see why they might suspect you, don’t you? No, of course you would never. Of course it’s not fair. You could see how it could happen, though, right? That’s why you have to be so careful. Every time you do a trick that is not part of a performance in front of a crowd, you have to ask yourself, ‘Is this something that could get me into trouble if I’m caught?’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

“Gidrick, you know stealing is wrong. Right? You wouldn’t want someone taking something from you, would you? So you would never take something away from someone else that didn’t belong to you, would you?

Let me tell you a little story about stealing. I knew a man back in Sasserine who once stole something. Was he a bad man? I don’t think so, and I don’t think you will think so when I tell you why he stole. You see, he had a sister who lived all alone with her son who was …well, no older than you are. The reason she lived alone was because the boy’s father had left them. That happens sometimes. Not everybody has two kind, loving parents like you do. Well, they were very poor, so poor in fact that they couldn’t afford enough food. That little boy’s mom loved him so much that she was starving herself to death just to make sure he had enough to eat. Well this man I knew, was not about to let his sister starve to death, but he had no money, either. One night, in desperation, he broke the window of the baker’s shop and stole a loaf of bread. Just a loaf of bread. He didn’t take any money or valuables or cakes, just one loaf of bread. Well, it didn’t matter what he took or why he took it. It was still against the law, and the Sasserine guard caught him and put him in prison. He was in prison for 19 years. Okay, 5 years for the theft, but the rest because he tried to run. He died during his last escape attempt. I think they were going to release him the following year.”

“What happened to the mother and boy?”

“The mother died. The boy became one of my good mates. We grew up together on the streets in Shadowshore. He died just recently, too.

“I’m not telling you this sad story just to upset you. I want you to understand what the world can be like if you’re not very careful. You have two parents who love you very much and are taking very good care of you. You have to be so thankful for them and do everything you can to show them how much you love them, and respect them, and how thankful you are for all they do for you. You must never, ever do something that would disappoint them or hurt them. And always remember that little boy and his mom. There are lots of people like them in the world who need help.

“Go on, son. Go give your mother a big hung and tell her you love her. She's right over there.”

Gidrick got up to go, but hesitated, looking back at Adameus. “What was that little boy's name?”

Adameus looked sad, but he smiled, "Shefton. His name was Shefton, and he was my friend."

With that, Gidrick dashed of directly towards Gwenlian.

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