When Link finally spends his first night dossing in a doorway he makes a good choice but then makes a mistake that evens things out again. Link finds the perfect doorway, “A good deep one, so deep that the light from steet-lamps and shop fronts don’t reach the door itself”. While Link is sleeping in the door way he realises he needs to use the bathroom, unfortunately for him, there are none near by. The closest one is in the tube station across the road. He decides to chance it, he takes his pack and rushes off to the toilets. When he returns he finds an unpleasant surprise.
A huge six foot Scouser who had taken Links place in the doorway. He tries to argue with the Scouser but is overpowered quickly. As Link is about to leave, the intruder in the doorway spots his watch. It is Links last worldly possession, a present from his Mum before Vince came along. “Nice watch. Gizzit” Further proof of how dangerous the streets can be. The biggest Danger on the streets of London is not the petty criminals but Shelter. Shelter is an ex-army soldier gone rogue. He was dismissed from the army on “medical grounds”. As we find out near the end of the novel it’s because he was insane.
He believes it is his duty to rid the streets of it’s dossers. Shelter believes there is a Government plot to “undermine the country by clogging it up with dossers and junkies and drunks. ” This just proves how out of his head he really is. It is because of this he is a threat to Link. He sees all the dossers, not as people, but as rubbish, needing to be cleaned up. “they’ve put me where I can’t turn garbage into men any more, but I can clean up the garbage, can’t I? They can’t stop me doing that, and I will. By golly I will. ” Swindells makes his novel believable by using a lot of examples of how homeless people have to live.
He uses descriptive language to make us fell sorry for them and so the readers feel like they are actually experiencing the cold chills. “What’s that? Sounds like breathing. Heavy breathing, as in a maniac. Lie still. Quiet. Maybe he won’t see you. Listen. Is he still there? Silence now. Creeping up, perhaps? No. Relax. Jeez my feet are cold. ” Swindells uses many examples like this to show us the discomfort of the homeless. Life on the streets is made worse by the fact that you can’t make friends very easily and girlfriends are extremely tough to come by.