Saul leaves the town of Manitouwadge at the age of eighteen. Fred Kelly warns Saul that it’ll be hard for him to find work elsewhere, and suggests that he stick around, where he’s surrounded by his friends. Virgil claims that Saul is running away from his troubles, but Saul denies this and prepares to leave, claiming that he just wants to be alone for a while.
Wagamese doesn’t explain exactly why Saul wants to be alone, but the reason would seem to be much deeper than the racism and bullying he’s been subjected to. Saul has had a tumultuous and in some ways tragic life so far, and he seems to want some time alone to collect his thoughts about his past.