Billy O’Shannessy, once a prominent barrister, is now on the street, where he sleeps on a bench outside the State Library. Above him on the window sill rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders’ cat, Trim. Ryan is a ten-year-old, a near-street kid heading for the usual trouble. The two of them form an unlikely bond. In telling Ryan the story of Flinders’ circumnavigation of Australia as seen through Trim’s eyes, Billy is drawn deeply into Ryan’s life and into the Sydney underworld.