|The novel Stone Cold of Robert Swindells deals with homeless kids. One the one hand there is Link a homeless boy who tries to survive in London on the other hand there is Shelter a man who recruited soldiers in the past. He can’t live with the fact that the army chucked him out. He saw as his job recruiting homeless people and make them to soldiers to clean up in this way the streets. Now it’s no longer his job and he thinks that the homeless people will flood the streets. So he starts anew preparing himself for recruiting homeless people but this time he does not make them to soldiers but kill them.
Before he starts with recruiting he prepares himself very proper he knows exactly what to say, how to smile and how to react. “I’d made the whole thing up – name and everything. Part of my preparation”. On this fact you can see how pedantic he is and how important it is for him that he won’t fail and that nothing will go wrong. He also planed what to do with the body of the people he killed because he thinks that that’s the reason why most of the murderes are caught: The don’t know what to do with the corpe. ”Because unlike most so-called murderers, I’ve planed in advance.” He’s sure that he planed everything so perfect that he will be never caught.
In fact he thinks that he’s doing the right thing. He freed the beggar of his suffering and the world of one more person who clutters up the place. ”I slipped up behind him and pot him out of his misery. Cruel? I don’t think so.” (p.24) He tries to excuse his behaviour by calling himself “a soldier out of uniform who’s killing for his country”. Soldiers are allowed to kill the enemies of their country but he’s called a murderer. He thinks that the people just don’t understand that he helps them by freeing them of the homeless people. He says that soldiers can do everything public and he has to catch himself and his “achievements”. Also the disposing of the body is difficult. Soldiers don’t have to dispose them but he has to find a solution so that nobody will find the body. He thinks that what he’s doing is the same as soldiers do in war. He’s ruthless and has no problem with killing people “Killing’s easy. Dead’s easy.” (p.29). He really thinks that he’s doing the right thing and that everybody should be grateful that he’s cleaning up the streets. “As I have said, he doesn’t fell the cold, nor is he cluttering anyone’s doorway. The whole thing’s so much tidier, don’t you think.”
I don’t think that you can say that he’s guilty because he’s completely ill and not sane.