|“|| "You're Shadow, huh? The asshole who killed Woody and Stone?"|
"No" said Shadow. "That was someone else. And I know who you are." He did. He has been inside the man's head. "You're Town. Have you slept with Wood's widow yet?"
Mr. Town fell off his chair.
Significance in NarrativeEdit
While Backstage, Shadow is transported into Mr. Town's head. Town calls Mr. World to tell him they lost Shadow and Wednesday. He is angry because he thinks Shadow is the one who killed Mr. Wood and Mr. Stone back at the railroad car. Shadow recognizes Mr. World's voice from somewhere but can't place it. Mr. World complains about scheduling a policy meeting and tells Town to get back there and that they can try to get Shadow and Wednesday again later.
While Shadow is handcuffed in the Lakeside jail, there is a television on in the background. Media gets Shadow's attention as Diane from Cheers and begins to show him a "LIVE FEED" with Mr. Town outside a building. The feed changes to inside the building and Wednesday is there, talking to a person with his back to the camera who turns out to be Mr. World. As Wednesday is arguing with Mr. World, a red laser dot appears on his glass eye. There is a bang and his head explodes. Media replays Wednesday's assassination and freeze-frames it for Shadow.
Shadow, Mr. Nancy, and Czernobog reach the Center of America that evening and park at the one-story motel. There is a chauffeur and a female newscaster standing outside. Media introduces herself and leads them inside where Technical Boy is waiting with Mr. Town. Shadow asks Mr. Town if he's slept with Mr. Wood's wife yet. Mr. Town hands room keys to Mr. Nancy who passes them out to Shadow and Czernobog.
The chauffeur brings everyone McDonald's from Nebraska. As they eat dinner, Shadow asks when they can take Mr. Wednesday's body and is told that according to the rules, they have to wait until midnight. After dinner, Shadow heads outside with Mr. Nancy. Nancy warns him that with Wednesday's death, the war between the Old Gods and New Gods has started. Mr. Nancy returns inside and Shadow soon encounters Mr. Town. Shadow tells him that he didn't kill the other Spooks.
It's soon close to midnight so everyone heads to Room Five, where Wednesday's body is laid out. Loki calls the gathering to order and asks if anyone would like to say something. Mr. Town passes, Czernobog warns that this is the start of war, and Technical Boy starts to recite a poem but can't remember the rest of it. Shadow says that the whole situation is "pitiful" because half the people there had a hand in killing Wednesday but Shadow is still working for him. Media makes a few pithy comments about life and death before Mr. Nancy finishes off with another warning that the New Gods will pay for what they have done and the New Gods leave.
Mr. Town drives around the back roads of Virginia searching for the Ashtree Farm. Mr. World has ordered him to cut off a stick from the World Tree but to leave Shadow alone and not turn him into a martyr. He finds the tree and takes a piss on it before grabbing a ladder and climbing up the tree. He hacks off a small branch for Mr. World and starts to climb back down. He jabs the stick at Shadow and imagines twisting it in his guts before he finishes climbing down the tree. He returns the ladder to the farmhouse and briefly imagines he sees the Norns seated there before returning to his Ford Explorer. He discovers he was up the tree for eight hours just as Shadow's side begins to bleed black.
Mr. Town gets lost trying to leave the ASH farm and keeps ending up right back at the farm. He eventually spots a woman walking along the side of the road and stops to ask her for directions. Laura offers to show him and climbs in, throwing the stick from the tree into the back seat.
Laura and Mr. Town continue their drive from the World Tree, superficially discussing a variety of topics, including her husband and his fallen coworkers. They pass a sign for Rock City and Mr. Town tells Laura that is where he is heading. She decides to accompany him to have an adventure. Town fancies himself in love with her and tells her he will pay for her room for the night. They reach Rock City and he asks her to wait in the car while he delivers the stick in the backseat to his boss. Laura asks him for a hug before he leaves and, as he comes in close, she asks him if he wants to know what really happened to Woody and Stone.
Laura takes the stick from Mr. Town's car and heads through Rock City unimpeded. Shadow arrives in Rock City and finds Mr. Town dead in his car from a broken neck. He catches Laura's scent in the air and follows it, feeling a brief moment of pain in his side.