"Where are we?" asked Shadow. "Am I on the tree? Am I dead? Am I here? I thought everything was finished. What's real?" "Yes," said Whiskey Jack. "'Yes'? What kind of answer is 'Yes'?" "It's a good answer. True answer, too."
Shadow first encounters Whiskey Jack when he and Wednesday escape Mr. Town by going Backstage. Whiskey Jack lives in a mobile home on Lakota land, where he goes by the name "Inktomi." John Chapman is also visiting and they eat dinner while they discuss the oncoming war between the Old Gods and the New Gods with both Chapman and Whiskey Jack refusing to join either side.
Whiskey Jack starts talking to Shadow about death and Shadow's dreams and Thunderbirds. Whiskey Jack brings up Laura's not-dead state and the Buffalo and offers to help when Shadow finds his "tribe." Whiskey Jack then offers to trade his nephew's '81 Buick for Wednesday's Winnebago they left Backstage. As Chapman leaves with Shadow and Wednesday, Whiskey Jack tells Wednesday to never come back.
In the void of nothingness, Shadow hears a voice call to him. Whiskey Jack warns Shadow that they are coming for him. Shadow doesn't want to be bothered but accepts Whiskey Jack's offering of a beer. They are on Whiskey Jack's porch as he tells Shadow about Harry Bluejay's death from a diabetic coma while driving. Whiskey Jack explains to Shadow how America is no place for gods because the land is god here. Shadow tells him that the gods are planning on going to war with each other but Whiskey Jack says it will be a bloodbath instead. Shadow realizes the truth and that it is not a war between Old gods and New, but a two-man con. He takes his leave with Whiskey Jack reminding him that gods die when they are forgotten but neither he nor the land are going anywhere.
Shadow returns to Lakeside and finds himself trapped under the ice as he realizes the bodies of all the missing kids over the last hundred or so years are down at the bottom of the lake. He tries to find his way out from under the still frozen ice and is soon pulled free. He sees Whiskey Jack and the Buffalo Man walking away before he loses consciousness.
Asked about how Iktomi was played by a non-Native actor, Neil Gaiman expressed regret over this decision, assuring he felt "sorry" about it and talked with Chic Eglee so that such a thing would not happen again.