|“||Back in my day, we had it all set up. You line up when you die, and you answer for your evil deeds and for your good deeds, and if your evil deeds outweighed a feather, we'd feed your soul and your heart to Ammet, the Eater of Souls.||”|
Significance in narrative Edit
Shadow watches Mr. Jacquel as he performs an autopsy on a murdered young girl. He does it professionally and slowly, but eats small pieces of her heart, liver, and kidney as he is performing the procedure.
Later, Shadow and Jacquel go to the house of an elderly deceased woman named Lila Goodchild. Her husband is poor and upset and he complains that their children have shown no respect for their parents. Meanwhile, Shadow takes away the body and learns how to work the hearse and the gurney. On the way back, Shadow asks Jacquel if he believes in souls. Jacquel explains that in his day, they would feed those whose evil deeds outweigh a feather to the Ammed, the Eater of Souls, however, the feather was a very heavy custom-made feather. Jacquel calls Jesus a "lucky son of a virgin," but mentions that a friend of his saw him hitchhiking in Afghanistan, so it all depends on where you are. Jacquel also reveals that Christmas isn't actually his birthday, but the birthday of Mithras. He complains about the fate of various gods, including Horus and Bast, and contemplates his own decrepit future.
Ibis and Jacquel host a service for Lila Goodchild and they ask Shadow to pick up a body the police phoned about. When he arrives at the site, he sees Mad Sweeney frozen with a twenty-dollar bottle of whiskey in his lap. Back at the funeral home, Mr. Goodchild continues to complain how his children won’t come to pay their respects, repeating “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.
That night, Shadow, Ibis, and Jacquel set an extra place on the table and pour everyone expensive Irish whisky. Ibis tells Mad Sweeney's story: he was made to protect a precious stone in Ireland, and was brought to America by a young Irish girl looking for a place to make money. They all get drunk to the point that Sweeney starts adding to the conversation and Sweeney reminds Shadow how to do the coin trick: you take the coin out of nowhere, out of the hoard, and out of your mind.
As Shadow journeys through the Underworld, Mr. Ibis escorts him to Anubis to be dissected and judged, leaving Shadow feeling painfully exposed as all of his sins are examined. Anubis asks for Shadow's heart and Bast passes it to Ibis. If Shadow's heart is too heavy, it will be fed to Ammet, the Eater of Souls. Anubis brings out a pair of golden scales and places a feather on one side and Shadow's heart on the other as Ammet lurks in the shadows, waiting. The scale balances out and Shadow is allowed to choose where to go next. Shadow asks for no heaven or hell but to simply rest and let it end. Mr. Jacquel opens a door to Nothing for Shadow and he walks through joyously.
Physical appearance Edit
Mr. Jacquel first appears as a long-muzzled, black dog with high, pointed ears. In his human form, he is described as having darker skin than Mr. Ibis and is "a very tall dark-skinned man."