The Iron Knight cost 120,000 dollars before taxes. And the price didnt include the semi-trailer that they would need to get as well.
A high-end Mercedes-Benz limousine S-600 cost no more than 140,000. Getting the Iron Knight was similar to buying a luxury car.
Li Du gave this some thought and decided to get it.
Natalie was taken aback. "Wow, are you really going to spend 120,000 dollars to get a truck? Thats crazy."
Hans gave Li Du a bear hug. "Li, if we were the same color, I would definitely do a DNA test. We could be long lost brothers!"
Sophie giggled and teased, "Aww, even if you guys are not brothers, maybe you two can be a couple."
"As long as he is willing." Hans pretended to look at Li Du lovingly.
"Stay away from me!" Li Du laughed.
Li Du made the payment in cash just like the time he bought the BMW Z4 for Hannah.
Li Du chose to make the payment in cash not because he was rich, but because he had calculated that if he chose to pay in installments, he would finish paying in three years; although the US dollar wouldnt fluctuate much in three years, the amount of interest that would build up could be substantial, and therefore it wouldnt be worth it.
Since he had enough funds, he would not accept any short-term loans.
Most Americans took up loans when they purchased a car; unlike Li Du, they did not have much in savings.
Hans was the typical kind of American who did not have much savings. When they were about to make the payment, he told Li Du that he only had 20,000 dollars left.
"Sh*t, didnt we make a huge sum selling the mammoth ivory?" Li Du was shocked to hear this from Hans.
"Yeah, but I sent half of it to the welfare home, and the night I stayed over at Las Vegas, I went to the casino. Thats how it happened."
"Very well. From now on, I will pay for the expenses incurred in our line of work."
"Really? Wow, my brother, you are a really good person," Hans said, pleasantly surprised.
"Of course, but that also means I will be the leader as well," said a cheeky Li Du.
Hans blinked and raised his hands. "Deal, Big Li."
And so, the purchase agreement was made in Li Dus name. Hans happily hopped into the Iron Knight, with Natalie sitting in front beside him, while both Li Du and Sophie hopped into the spacious rear seats.
Hans accelerated as they drove along the highway, and in just eight seconds, they were moving along at a speed of 60 miles an hour.
"This is really amazing," Li Du said.
"Oh yeah, this beast has a horsepower of 2,400! Do you know what it means? The 1000 meter record holder, The Wild Viking, had a horsepower of only 1,600!"
Hans took them for a spin before sending the girls home.
"I enjoyed the drive around the city, and thanks for dropping me off," Sophie smiled.
"Oh, er, the drive? I was afraid that it might be too old-fashioned." Li Du appeared a bit flustered and shy.
"Why would it be? Thats a drive in a Volvo worth hundreds of thousands of dollars."
Ah Meow also agreed with Sophie, "Meow meow!"
Sophie immediately noticed Ah Meows behavior. "I think Ah Meows getting more intelligent. Pets thrive with good owners."
Owner? Whos the owner? Ah Meow looked at Sophie disapprovingly.
"Oh look, Ah Meows expression really intrigues me!" Sophie pointed at Ah Meow.
They two chatted for a bit more, talking about Ah Meow.
After they bid their goodbyes to each other, the treasure-hunting duo went scouting for suitable semi-trailers.
Li Du spent another 20,000 dollars to get a fully enclosed semi-trailer and latched it onto the Iron Knight.
The Iron Knight, now complete with the semi-trailer, had a total length of about 25 feet. The semi-trailer had a capacity of 180 cubic feet and could hold up to 40 tons.
Hans then proceeded to settle the paperwork required to sell his F-150, while also asking around for information and news on storage auctions.
He couldnt wait to show off his new Iron Knight.
It was the end of April, and there was still continuous, light rain in Flagstaff. Hans learned of a storage unit auction at Prescott, a city in central Arizona.
They set off for Prescott on an early morning with the Iron Knight, and quickly went on the famous Route 66 highway.
Hans stepped on the accelerator and yelled excitedly, "Oh yeah, Mother Road! I love you!"
Li Du, however, was a bit worried. "Slow down. We have a semi-trailer at the back. The road might be slippery, you gotta be careful!"
Hans replied, "Dont worry. Mother Road will bless us to reach our destination safely."
Route 66 covered 401 miles in the state of Arizona. It had several nicknames; one of them was "Mother Road".
The longest continuous stretch of Route 66 was in-between Seligman and Topock. There were many tourist attractions along the historic Route 66 as well; The Oatman Ghost Town, Kingmans Historic Route 66 Museum, The Grand Canyon Railway at Williams, the Meteor Crater at Winslow, and so much more.
After traveling about 130 miles, they arrived in Prescott.
"This is a wonderful city; we might be able to get some good stuff. Do you want some info about the area?" asked Hans.
Li Du nodded. "Sure, go ahead."
Hans smiled. "Prescott is the host of the Worlds Oldest Rodeo and is the former capital of Arizona. It has many Victorian style homes, streets, and a long history involved in The Wild West. I believe we might have a chance to get an antique this time.
"The people here are interesting; there are retired citizens, artists, old people who love to revisit the good old days, and grumpy cowboys."
"And I thought grumpy cowboys lived in Texas," Li Du commented.
"Texas is full of big, tough-looking guys, but they are sissies on the inside. The real men are in Arizona, and I know exactly how to prove this. It will be an eye-opener!" Hans said firmly.
They stayed at ML Hotel, a hotel which was pretty close to the storage unit company, where the auction would be held two days later.
After washing up at the hotel, Hans and Li Du hailed a cab to Whiskey Row.
The driver was a black old man with greying hair; he smiled in response. "Going there for a fight? With only two of you?"
Hans gave a light slap on Li Dus shoulders. "My buddy here is from China; he and Bruce Lee are family. His Chinese Kung Fu is incredible!"
Li Du asked, "Whiskey Rowwhat kind of place is it?"
The black driver replied, "It is a notorious saloon street. In the past, only alcoholic cowboys would drink there, and now lots of alcoholics drink there," he sighed. "As long as you set foot there, you better be prepared to fight."
Hans added, "Well, thats also a good place to experience the Arizona Cowboy Spirit. My buddy here thought the toughest cowboys were in Texas."
The driver immediately became agitated. "What?! Texas? Those sissies dare call themselves tough? Trust me; they wouldnt dare say that in Whiskey Row. Hold on tight; youre about to experience a Prescott cowboys driving skills!"
Almost immediately, the two of them were pushed back into their seat with the rigorous start of the engine.
Whooshthe Chevrolet cab sped off at lightning speed.