August left the foster home as he knew / felt it was an abusive unpleasant environment (otherwise why go?). He left baby Emma alone as a helpless infant in the abusive to suffer it out for herself. It was a very selfish and self-centered act on his part and reveals a great deal about August’s character. The ONLY reason I believe he came back was because he was turning back into wood and could feel Emma’s arrival. His sole purpose to get her to believe is once again self-serving. I think he would have stayed on Pleasure Island if there were no negative consequences for him. Gold even alludes to his character in the shop. I cannot remember the exact line, but the negative untrustworthy gist was there.
I never liked the story of Pinocchio and now August has truly validated my original feelings.
I cannot say I like him much.