|“||Not to mention mythic creatures in the rubble...||”|
–Wendy Cope, A Policeman's Lot
Mr. Wednesday and Shadow leave Illinois, spending the night south of La Crosse, Wisconsin. The next day is Christmas, and they have lunch in North Central Wisconsin while Wednesday regales Shadow with tales of con games, including two-man grifts involving a fiddle or the Bishop Game. Wednesday knocks out a salt shaker and casts runes to get their waitress to go home with him. Shadow questions the legality and morality of it, but ultimately does nothing.
After lunch, Wednesday takes Shadow to the bus station to catch a two-hour ride to Lakeside, where he will be living under the alias of Mike Ainsel from Milwaukee (the "nephew" of Wednesday's already-established Lakeside identity of Emerson Borson). Shadow falls asleep on the bus and dreams of the Buffalo Man again. The bus stops for a break and picks up two teenage girls (Sophie and Alison McGovern), who take a seat in front of Shadow. He falls back asleep, listening to them converse the rest of the way to Lakeside.
Once in Lakeside, Shadow meets Richie Hinzelmann, who offers him a ride in Tessie, his antique Wendt Phoenix roadster. Hinzelmann tells Shadow about the town of Lakeside and invites him to join in the town's annual raffle of predicting the date and time when a specific vehicle on the frozen lake will break through the ice, signaling the end of winter. Shadow goes to bed in his new home, thinking of Laura and Wednesday, almost as if he were spying on them, before falling asleep.
Meanwhile. A Conversation. Edit
Coin tricks Edit
- La Crosse
Notes and trivia Edit
- Shadow's address in Lakeside is 502 Northridge Road, Apartment #3.
- "My Ainsel", the alias Shadow takes on and the title of Part Two, is a possible reference to the fairy tale "My Own Self," also known as "Me A'an Sel" or "Ainsel".
- Wednesday's alias "Emerson Borson" is a reference to his ancestry: Odin is the son of Bor, and Ymir is the ancestor of all jötnar, though the family tree gets a bit convoluted that far back.