Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Hans pointed at one of the oil paintings. It depicted a blonde youth with a long face. He was wearing a lot of jewelry and accessories. On the painting, it said, Spoilum, February 1779, A Painting for the Prince of Hawaii Hill in the Pearl River Port.
Li Du asked, “So what?”
Hans continued, “You’ve read it. That’s a prince. Although it is not clear which Hawaiian prince he is, he must be famous. What if we manage to connect with his descendants and sell this painting to them?”
Nodding, Li Du said, “That’s a good idea. However, there are two concerns. One, his descendants might not be rich enough. Two, rich people are no fools either. They would not let you jack up the price.”
Hans grinned. “Of course, but they would definitely be willing to buy the painting for more than the market price. This painting would be considered meaningful to his family. Of course, the assumption is that his descendants are still around.”
Li Du looked at the paintings and said, “Alright, this portrait can be dealt with as you suggested. However, how about the rest? There does not seem to be any indication of the subjects’ identity in the rest of the paintings.”
Hans waved his hand and said, “That’s even better. We can erase the names on the portraits. Then we can search for big shots who look like the people in the paintings. We can offer the paintings to them.”
“And say that the subjects were their ancestors?” Li Du picked up what Hans was driving at.
Hans snapped his fingers and said, “That’s right. We can sell the portraits saying that those people must be their ancestors. Do you remember the parchments of the WWII soldiers that you had found? It’s the same concept.”
That incident had taken place some time ago. Li Du had gotten some parchments from the auction and Hans sold them off to a rich Japanese man. That was because that man needed some items to prove his family background.
Hans believed that not only Japanese businessmen had such an inclination. Many people from various backgrounds needed impeccable family connections to support their status in upper society.
Hence, the people in the paintings did not really have to be their ancestors. As long as they resembled the rich men in some way, and as long as the history of those paintings was real, people would likely be willing to make the purchase.
However, to deal with all the paintings that way would require a lot of time. Li Du was in no hurry. Hence, he let Hans and Lu Guan take their time sourcing for suitable clients.
He had not been back longer than two days when Luo Qun looked him up. Instead of her police uniform, she was clad in tight-fitting denim. The outfit complimented her shapely figure, and with her black ponytail, she looked all of an adventurer.
Hans was on his tablet, looking up rich people who looked like those in the paintings. When he spotted Luo Qun, he appeared sentimental and sad. With a depressed face, he sighed.
Li Du did not know what was going on, and asked, “What’s got into you?”
Hans said, “Seeing that ponytail reminds me of my beloved Barbara.”
Li Du remembered. Indeed, the shepherd lady in Riverdale had a ponytail, though hers was blonde. Hans had not brought her up for a while now. Li Du asked, “How’s it going between you and her?”
Hans said helplessly, “She doesn’t seem to care for me. D*mn it, I have spent so much effort trying to woo her. To be honest, buddy, I’ve never tried so hard. Nothing I do seems to make a difference.”
Hearing his words, Luo Qun said blandly, “Oh, that means she’s just not into you.”
Hans looked at her angrily and said, “Must you sprinkle salt on my wound?”
Shrugging, Luo Qun said, “I’m going to rub your wound after sprinkling salt on it. How about that?”
Seeing that Luo Qun was coming on so strongly, Hans felt defeated. He was just like a deflated balloon, as he said, “Whatever. Quarreling with you won’t help me win her over.”
It was the first time Lu Du saw Hans revealing such emotions when talking about a lady. Hence, he consoled Hans by saying, “Don’t lose confidence in yourself. Make use of your best abilities. Weren’t you always an expert at picking up girls?”
Luo Qun said coolly, “I don’t believe in any such thing. The girls that he picked up were either interested in his money or simply as flirtatious as him.”
Hearing these words, Hans started to get more depressed.
Li Du pushed Luo Qun into the study and said, “That’s enough. You’ve said too much.”
Luo Qun said indignantly, “I’m just telling the truth. It’s not like you don’t know how he was in the past. How dare he to try and cause harm to a good girl?”
Hans shouted with all his might from behind, “I’m not causing any harm, I really love her!”
Luo Qun shouted back, “Then go tell her and make her believe you.”
Li Du closed the door quickly and stuff, “Okay, let’s get down to business. What are you here for?”
Luo Qun glared at him. “Don’t feign ignorance. You know why I’m here.”
Li Du replied helplessly, “Of course I do. However, I told you, don’t be anxious, wait for spring. When it’s warmer in Siberia, we can go. I’ve already found good assistants.”
Luo Qu stared and him and said, “I can go there first. You guys can wait for the weather to change for the better. Okay?”
Li Du slammed his fist upon the table and said, “Don’t do anything rash. I told you, I will help you, but you need to listen to me. Luo Qun, if you go there yourself, that’s as good as seeking death. I won’t help people who are trying to kill themselves!”
Luo Qun stomped her foot and said anxiously, “I will go over and check out the routes first. We need someone to do that, right? As you know, even in war, we need those in the front line.”
“I have contacted our front-liners. They are of the Nenets people. They will be our guides and lead this journey to Siberia,” Li Du said quickly.
Luo Qun pursed her lips and, having little choice, could only leave unhappily.
After sending her off and thinking it over, Li Du decided to give Steve a call. He wanted to reaffirm the arrangements with Steve.
Lu Guan walked in cheerfully and said, “Hey, boss. I have heard good news. There’s a pretty nice warehouse up for auction. I think you will like it.”
Li Du perked up and asked, “What kind of warehouse?”
Lu Guan replied, “You know about GSP, right? The warehouse seems to have something to do with GSP. It’s near Fort Davis.”
Li Du frowned, “GSP? I don’t know what that is. Could you possibly mean GPS?”
Lu Guan rolled his eyes. “Of course not. GSP stands for Go-Star-Partying. It’s an astronomy gathering. Don’t you like astronomy? I thought that you’d know of such rallies. The spring GSP is about to take place, so I thought that you would like to attend this auction.”
Li Du shook his head and asked, “What’s the gathering for?”
“It’s for everyone to observe the stars,” Lu Guan said simply. “We won’t be viewing them with naked eyes. We will be using telescopes, very good telescopes.”
“The location of this warehouse auction is at Fort Davis. It’s a warehouse in a small city and it’s small-scale. However, there might be very valuable professional telescopes in there. Besides, we can also join GSP. How does that sound? Shall we go take a look?”
Fort Davis was located in the southwestern part of Texas. It was separated from Arizona by New Mexico State. It was pretty far away from them. Hence, to go to such a place to participate in an auction, they would have to try to gain at least something.