I know a charm that can cure pain and sickness, and lift the grief from the heart of the grieving.
I know a charm that will heal with a touch.
I know a charm that will turn aside the weapons of an enemy.
I know another charm to free myself from all bonds and locks.
A fifth charm: I can catch an arrow in flight and take no harm from it.
A sixth: spells sent to hurt me will hurt only the sender.
A seventh charm I know: I can quench a fire simply by looking at it.
An eighth: if any man hates me, I can win his friendship.
A ninth: I can sing the wind to sleep and calm a storm for long enought to bring a ship to shore.
For a tenth charm, I learned to dispel witches, to spin them around in the skies so that they will never find their way back to their own doors again.
An eleventh: if I sing it when a battle rages it can take warriors through the tumult unscathed and unhurt, and bring them safely back to their hearths and their homes.
A twelfth charm I know: if I see a hanged man I can bring him down from the gallows to whisper to us all he remembers.
A thirteenth: if I sprinkle water on a childís head, that child will not fall in battle.
A fourteenth: I know the names of all the gods. Every damned one of them.
A fifteenth: I had a dream of power, of glory, and of wisdom, and I can make people believe in my dreams.
A sixteenth charm I know: if I need love I can turn the mind and heart of any woman.
A seventeenth, that no woman I want will ever want another.
And I know an eighteenth charm, and that charm is the greatest of all, and that charm I can tell to no man, for a secret that no one know but you is the most powerful secret there can ever be.
Odin: It is only a gesture, but gestures mean everything. The death of one dog symbolizes the death of all dogs. Nine men they gave to me, but they stood for all the men, all the blood, all the power. It just wasnít enough. One day, the blood stopped flowing. Belief without blood only takes us so far. The blood must flow.
Shadow: I saw you die.
Odin: In the god business, [Shadow was certain it was Wednesday, nobody else had that rasp, that deep cynical joy in words,] itís not the death that matters. Itís the opportunity for resurrection. And when the blood flows...
I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that arenít true and I can believe things where nobody knows if theyíre true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. ListenóI believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyoneís ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day weíll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankindís destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that itís aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that thereís a cat in a box somewhere whoís alive and dead at the same time (although if they donít ever open the box to feed it itíll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesnít even know that Iím alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasnít done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know whatís going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a womanís right to choose, a babyís right to live, that while all human life is sacred thereís nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when youíre alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
—Samantha Black Crow
Wednesday looked at him with amusement and something else—irritation perhaps. Or pride. "Why don't you argue?" asked Wednesday. "Why don't you exclaim that it's all impossible? Why the hell do you just do what I say and take it all so fucking calmly?"
"Because you're not paying me to ask questions," said Shadow. And then he said, realizing the truth as the words came out of his mouth, "Anyway, nothing's really surprised me since Laura."
"Since she came back from the dead?"
"Since I learned she was screwing Robbie. That one hurt. Everything else just sits on the surface."