Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The conclusion of the discussion was that there was no problem. Su Nan’s priority was to earn money to provide for his family. To him, there was no difference between going to Australia or staying in America.
“In America, it’s just that I’m more familiar with Philly. However, I don’t have the so-called connections or foundations for networking. The school tutor cannot give me much help, and there are only a few research students. The only reason why I want to stay here is to earn a higher salary.”
Su Nan was most concerned about whether the position was reliable. He felt that the terms were most reasonable and it was impossible for the job to still be available.
Li Du pounded on his chest and swore, “I’m your friend, and I have exceptionally useful connections. Don’t worry, if there’s a problem with the position, I’ll take care of it. Otherwise, I won’t have the face to stay connected with our network of classmates.”
Having the guarantee from Li Du, Su Nan felt more relaxed. “When do I start?”
Li Du said, “Pack up your things in Philly, and you can start right away.”
Li Du planned to arrange for his old classmate to be assigned to the warehouse auction company that he and Hans handled. He intended to introduce Hans as the boss and keep his own identity under wraps for some time.
Su Nan smiled. “What do I have back in Philly? I have brought my stuff to Phoenix. I moved everything here to get ready for the job I was going to start here. However, fortunately, in the end, I did find a job in Phoenix.”
Li Du said, “That’s perfect. Pack your things up and I’ll get my friend to arrange for someone to help you with the onboarding processes. Then you can fly to Australia to meet the boss. He’s now in Australia.”
He intended for Su Nan to replace Hans in his job on Seagull Island, which would allow Hans to return to the States.
He was very confident about Su Nan’s capabilities. He was better suited than Hans to supervise the Lightning Ridge opal mine and the accounting responsibilities on Seagull Island. As for the task of bringing in the black gold abalone, Su Nan would only need to supervise.
The only one who would be catching the black gold abalone was the Japanese navy captain, Christie. She alone was able to complete what a few people combined could normally do. Hans was there just to deal with the spot-checks, as he had the license to catch black gold abalone.
After Li Du had bought Seagull Island, Christie was seen catching the black gold abalone on Li Du’s private area at sea. The ocean patrol would no longer keep up with their checks, however, and Hans would not need to stay behind.
As his employment problem had been resolved, Su Nan’s appetite improved. During lunch, he continued to drink, finishing a dozen beers.
Of course, that also had to do with the great quality of the specialty-brewed fresh beer. Typically, Su Nan would not splurge on such beer.
After drinking for some time, Su Nan became quite inebriated and fell flat on the table in front of him.
Sophie smiled. “Seems like you have helped your old classmate to resolve a big difficulty.”
Li Du said, “I was unaware of his situation before. Otherwise, I would have helped him a long time ago. Besides, this is considered killing two birds with one stone, right?”
He waved his hand, and Brother Wolf, who has been taking small sips of his beer, walked over. He brought along two of the others who were largest in size – Black Bull and Madman. Each of them pulled up one arm of Su Nan’s.
Li Du had booked a hotel room for Su Nan, so he could have a place to stay for the time being. Li Du had wanted to help him bring his belongings over to the hotel, but he did not know where Su Nan had been staying previously.
Fortunately, Su Nan recovered from his drunken stupor pretty quickly. He woke up sometime in the afternoon and smiled. “Sorry to trouble you, poet, did I do something wrong when I was drunk?”
Li Du smiled back at him. “Nope, you simply fell asleep. Let’s go get your luggage.”
Su Nan looked around and could tell that the new hotel must be expensive. He rubbed his hands and said, “The place where I had stayed before is pretty good…”
Li Du said, “You can stay here. One of my friends opened this hotel. The key thing is that this place is safe. Please don’t meet with any accident here in Phoenix. Otherwise, your parents would really have no way to survive.”
That convinced Su Nan, and he brought Li Du back to his motel to pack up his belongings.
Su Nan had been staying in a budget motel. It was not far from the restaurant where they had lunch. The building was three-story high, and its exterior was made of colored steel tiles. It was the cheapest sort of motel.
“It’s cheap here, just slightly more than ten dollars per night,” Su Nan smiled helplessly.
Li Du shook his head. “Staying here will not help you to save money.”
As he was in the warehouse auction trade, he had traveled all around Arizona. Hans had told him all about the practice of such accommodations.
The managers of such motels were typically very cunning. They were especially great at extorting money from the Chinese and other foreigners. When they checked out, the owners would find some excuses to add to the bill. It would be useless to call the police because the owners”evidence’ would always win.
When Li Du and Su Nan went to check out, they met with that same issue. After the owner had gone to check the room, he said, “The television is broken, and a bottle and a cup are missing. The additional compensation will be two hundred dollars.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me. That television was broken from the start. And when did the room ever have a bottle and a cup?” Su Nan frowned.
“Oh, a water dispenser is also missing. That’s five hundred dollars. If you don’t pay, I’ll call for the police and let them hold you up in a cell for a couple of days. Then you’ll be honest, won’t you?” The owner said.
Seeing that the owner was going too far, Li Du channeled his anger into a smile. “Boss, can’t you do business honestly, without bullying others?”
The owner, a lanky black man, glanced at him derisively and said, “I just want to bully you, you know why? Chinese dude, go back to your country!”
Su Nan grabbed hold of Li Du, who was fuming. Then he said politely, “Sorry, boss, please don’t be angry. My friend does not mean any harm. You’re…”
“Hey, do you want the bill to rise to one thousand dollars?” The landlord reached out to slap Su Nan’s face. “Would such poor blokes like you guys have one thousand bucks? Hurry up and pay up the five hundred dollars, then scram!”
Su Nan did not have the money. Every cent of his was hard-earned. How would he bear to part with his money just like that?
Smiling, Su Nan said, “Boss, I really did not damage your things. You can also tell that we do not have much money. Can’t you let us go?”
The owner narrowed his eyes and said, “If you have no money, borrow some. You’ll have to pay up twice the amount for damaging the motel’s property. It’s written here clearly.”
Li Du smiled. He opened his wallet and took out five hundred dollars. Pushing the money towards the motel owner, he said, “Alright, we will pay up. Big Canon, stop talking.”
Seeing that Li Du was ready to pay up, Su Nan immediately stopped him.
He pleaded with the boss and said, “While I stayed here, I’ve been helping you keep the place clean and tidy. Look, other than changing the bedsheet, you won’t have to clean the room at all. Let us off, please. I really have no money.”
The owner pushed Su Nan away impatiently and shouted, “Thomas, come over. Someone is making trouble here.”
Three big-sized, fat African Americans from the service staff walked over, looking like thugs. They approached Li Du and scolded him, “F*ck you, Chinese dude, we will send you to jail!”
It seemed like the situation had gone wrong and Su Nan was out of his wits. He was worried that a fight would break out if he kept refusing to pay. It was okay if they just hit him. However, if they also hit Li Du, he would no longer be able to face his ex-classmate.
Su Nan took out his wallet. There was not much money inside. Then he searched his pockets and pleaded with the boss, “I only have three hundred and twenty dollars, please let us off.”
The boss snatched the money and demanded, “Then swipe your card. You have a credit card, and I have the machine here to process it…”
Li Du could not bear to watch any longer. He took out two hundred-dollar bills and threw them on the bed. Then, pulling Su Nan along behind him, he walked towards the exit.