A light drizzle started to fall, and everyone had to stand in the rain to participate in the auction.
The auctioneer was wearing a raincoat and he said loudly, "The auction rules will not be repeated again. Everyone, please stand outside the entrance to the unit, and no one is allowed to touch the things inside. We prefer cash transactions. Is everyone clear?
"The bad weather today has limited my vision, so I may not see everyones hand. So, try to get close to me, and bid as quickly as possible. I dont think people are happy in the rain, right?"
Prescott was a small town. Those who participated in the auction were mainly local people. There were not too many treasure hunters; only twenty-something in the crowd.
Seeing this situation, Li Du said to Hans, "This auction has one of the lowest numbers of people we have ever seen, right?"
Hans nodded. "Yes, but never think you can win the unit easily with fewer people. In fact, the fewer the people, the more determined they usually are."
The first storage unit was opened. Everyone lined up to see inside. One of the treasure hunters behind Li Du and Hans asked, "What did you guys see?
Hans whispered and looked up, "A pile of rubbish!"
"Then you guys are going to give up on this unit, right?" The treasure hunter asked.
Hans shrugged his shoulders. "We will look at the price. Its bad, but there is no absolute garbage in here. If the price is low, we are still willing to take the risk."
After the tour, the auctioneer raised his hand and said, "Everyone please move forward so I can see every one of you. The bidding is going to start now, and the starting price is 200 dollars, 200, 200"
Li Du raised his hand. "Here!"
"So, 250, 250, 250..."
The treasure hunters present were shaking their heads together. Two people went back and looked again into the unit. Then they shook their heads and left.
It was simple. The first storage unit fell into Li Dus hands.
Mr. Li was at a loss. "Gosh, the first bid is already over?"
The auctioneer shouted "200" three times, then he waved his arm toward Li Du. "Well, young man, this unit belongs to you."
Hans laughed, "This unit has no value. Its just helping the company dispose of garbage. Everyone knows this, obviously."
The second storage unit was opened. This caused an uproar among the treasure hunters.
They saw there were construction tools inside the storage. For the Americans who liked to fix up their homes by themselves, these tools were necessities.
The starting price was the same, 200 dollars. Li Du was the first one who bid, but this was followed by the others quickly. The price rose to 1,000 dollars.
When he saw it, he shook his head and said to Hans, "It's too expensive."
Hans smiled and said, "Have you seen that machine with the nozzle?"
"I think there is a machine, but there are a lot of cement blocks around it. It seems worthless."
"No; it's a high-pressure cement-injection pump with a mixer. It's worth ittens of thousands of green ones." Hans said in a low voice.
"It's worth so much money?" Li Du asked in surprise.
He saw the machine. It was something like a cement mixer which was placed underneath a pile of cardboard boxes. It was nondescript.
In this case, they had to continue to bid. Li Du shouted, "1,200 dollars, here!"
"Very good, 1,200, 1,200, 1,200. What about 1,300?"
"Here," someone followed the bid.
The auctioneer pointed to the middle-aged man who bid. The price was increased by 100 dollars once again.
Li Du and Hans each placed a bid respectively. The price rose all the way up to 2,000 dollars. They continued the bidding.
At this price, other treasure hunters shook their heads and quit. A big guy touched Hans's shoulder and said, "Okay, it belongs to you."
Others asked, "Are you going to bring the entirety of Prescott back to Flagstaff?"
"The Iron Knight we own is big enough to fit everything, so why not?" Hans laughed.
The third and fourth storage units were both filled with household waste products. So, Li du and Hans did not participate in the bidding. The cheap units were bought by two treasure hunters.
Now it was the fifth storage units turn. Li Du became serious because he knew that the antique papyri were inside.
There were many tables, chairs, benches and mattresses in the unit. Hans glanced at him and said, "This is hotel storage. I am sure that the former owner must be a hotel owner."
Inside, the tables, chairs, and mattresses were damaged and moldy; they were all rubbish without any value.
Apparently, the auctioneer was thinking this too, so the starting price was very low. He shouted, "100, 100, 100 dollars! This is the lowest price that youre going to get. You wont suffer any monetary losses or be fooled..."
Listening to this, Li Du became very happy. He raised his hand and laughed, "Us! Ha! Just what I was thinking."
Treasure hunters stared at him strangely. A bearded man could not hold his tongue and asked, "Are you planning to clean up the garbage? Whats going on?"
Li Du said, "Guys, this is not all rubbish. Perhaps we can get a few complete set of tables and chairs!
Those treasure hunters laughed. Hans shook his head. "You're right, but this will be tough work!"
Those treasure hunters pointed to him and shouted, "100, 100, 100! If there is no one willing to pay the higher price, then this storage unit should be knocked down and given to the Chinese man!"
"Just give it to him as a kindness from The United States toward China," a bearded treasure hunter shrugged, as he didnt seem to care.
"You got it." The auctioneer pointed to Li Du, "This storage belongs to you!"
The sixth storage unit was opened. A treasure hunter lamented, "Sh*t, why are all these units rubbish? D*mmitI'm going to Phoenix. I will end up starving if I stay in Prescott!"
This was the last storage unit. Some people just left after they saw the contents.
Hans also shook his head and said, "Let's go! We are going to clean up the units that we bought."
Li Du gave him a wink and whispered, "Bid for this."
The safe deposit box was placed at the corner, and it was surrounded by messy furniture and woven bags. Therefore, people could not see it from the front door, and they could only see a pile of rubbish.
Hans felt relieved, and he waited patiently.
The treasure hunters who stayed did not even add up to twenty people. The rain started to pour.
Because of this, the auctioneer was too lazy to provoke everyone's desire, so he said directly, "Give me any figure as the starting bid for this last storage unit. I am freezing now!"
One of the treasure hunters said, "100. I'll help you to dispose of the garbage."
Hans laughed, "Collins, your starting price is too high. I bid 200!"
"Then I bid 300," another person joined in the bidding.
Other than the safe deposit box, there was a whole set of sofas in the storage, and they were in good condition. They could probably can get 1,000 dollars if they sold the sofa as second-hand furniture.
Hans bid 600 dollars, and the others just gave up on the bid. Collins shook his head and asked, "Are you crazy? Two out of the four storage units are rubbish. Do you work for a cleaning company?
"We have a truck!" Hans said proudly.
The treasure hunters put up their umbrellas to leave. The auctioneer pointed to the two men and said, "Deal, 600, the storage unit belongs to you."