Mr and Mrs Clarke’s fighting becomes more frequent and violent.
Paddy notices that - unusually - the pots have not been washed from the night before. He realises that it is because they have been arguing.
Paddy hears Mr Clarke hit Mrs Clarke and feels very protective towards his mother. But he is confused by their behaviour - he loves both of them so cannot understand why one would be cruel to the other.
Mrs Clarke does not get up one morning and Mr Clarke has to get Paddy and Sinbad ready for school. She seems to be suffering from depression.
Paddy also becomes increasingly aware of his brother’s maturity and realises that Sinbad “wasn’t as easy to control as he used to be”.
Paddy has a fight with Sean, a boy who is not in his gang. Paddy is afraid, but a workman breaks up the fight.
As the boys run away, Paddy is inwardly upset that none of his gang protected him.
Paddy makes good progress at school - he sits at the desk for those who get the best results in their tests and wins a medal in a school race.
Paddy’s parents’ marriage is deteriorating further. Sinbad also becomes aware of the arguments, but seems in denial about how serious the situation is.
Paddy tries to be kind to Sinbad by calling him Francis, his real name. But Sinbad is so suspicious about his motives that Paddy gives up and just calls him Sinbad again.
Paddy plucks up the courage to ask Kevin if his parents fight too. This shows how worried he is about his parents’ marriage.
He stays awake all night in the hope that this will stop them from fighting. But he becomes so tired that he falls asleep in class, causing the headmaster to enquire if he is okay.