black professor pointed at the photo which contained the hieroglyphs and said, "Have you heard of the words of God? It refers to hieroglyphics. Although they werent the earliest people who discovered scripts, they were the earliest people who captured them by camera."
Hieroglyphics were created 5,000 years ago as the script in ancient Egypt.
Today, people believed that Egyptian scripts were the world's oldest writing. They were not only the oldest writing, but also the longest-used script in the world. The Narmer Palette, found by archaeologists, contained some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found. Until recent day, some churches in Egypt had still been using the Egyptian scripts.
This kind of writing was once considered "God's words," so it was referred to as "the sacred engraved letters."
"The ancient Egyptians believed their scripts were made by the god of the Moon, measurement, and knowledge, Thoth. It is very similar to the legend of Cangjie," Professor Lewis said.
Li Du said unconsciously, "The deities and ghosts cried and the sky rained millet when Cangjie invented the characters"
Hans looked at him in surprise. He didnt know what he was saying.
Professor Lewis smiled and asked, "Are you Chinese?"
Li Du nodded and said, "Yes, please continue. I couldnt restrain my excitement when I heard you mention the legend of Cangjie."
Professor Lewis said, "In fact, it has nothing much to say about the legend. I think these photos possess historical value as they contained some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions."
Hans tried to voice his opinion. "Do these hieroglyphs contain some important information? For example, the location of the treasures of the Pharaoh?
The black professor laughed, "Have you ever seen someone who had carved the information of their treasures on the walls of their own home? The ancient Egyptians had long mastered the production of papyri. Therefore, they would write on the papyri, even if it was important information. "
Hearing this, Li Du frowned, and he remembered the papyri that he had collected.
However, the words written on the papyri were not hieroglyphs. Otherwise, he would have known the photos were valuable.
Hans asked again, "The photos were very famous, right?"
Professor Lewis nodded. "Yes, he captured thousands of photos. More than half have disappeared."
"Are they valuable because of the hieroglyphs?" Hans asked.
The Professor pondered a moment. "Not only because of the scriptsin fact, these photos show historical changes and reflected one's beliefs."
"You have to know that photographic technology had been around for only 20 years at that time. Maxime took the risk to go deep into the desert and capture the photos for a long period of time. It was admirable."
Li Du didnt understand what Maxime had been thinking at the time. He said, "They just simply get busy dying."
The Professor smiled and said, "Yes, Maximes friend, Flaubert mentioned that in his essay. However, through their efforts, people have better understandings about this country, which experienced a brutal culture before the stage of industrialization."
Hans counted the photos and said, "So, how much are you willing to pay?"
The Professor said, "As I told you on the phone, one photo for 4,000 dollars. I can buy them all."
Hans shook his head. "Sorry, Professor, as the words in these photos have never been published before ..."
The two students grinned when he mentioned this.
Professor Lewis waved his hand and said, "Show them to Mr. Fox."
One of the youth showed them a tablet and there were some photos on the screen.
Hans and Li Du saw the familiar architecture and scripts.
They looked at the photos on the tablet. All the photos were exact copies of the photos in their hands.
Professor Lewis said, "In fact, these photos used to belong to the museum run by our history department, but we lost them during an exhibition. My students have seen these photos before, so they recognized them at a glance on the internet.
Hans blinked; he thought he had nothing more to bargain with, but he was reluctant to admit this.
"Even if you have all seen these scripts before, the original copies are with us. Six thousand for each photo. Then they will belong to you."
Professor Lewis smiled and said, "4,000 dollars is a very reasonable price. We would not offer such a high price if they were not related to our university."
Hans looked at Li Du, who shrugged his shoulders. "Lets return the photos to the owner. We need to respect knowledge."
"Okay, deal; 4,000 dollars for a photo. To be honest, I do not want to bargain anymore out of my respect for knowledge."
The conversation between them disgusted one student. He thought: You are f*cking earning money out of your respect for knowledge?
Professor Lewis said, "Please give me the photo album. We only need a total of 40 photos. I have to identify them one by one."
Li Du whispered, "Dont be a profiteer."
The three of them quickly picked out 40 valuable photos from the album, leaving the remaining 24 landscape photos for Li Du and Hans to keep.
"I think these photos are antiques. Are you at all interested ?" Hans cheekily asked.
Professor Lewis waved his hand, "Sorry, we are not interested..."
"Twenty-four pieces for 2,000 dollars!" Hans interrupted him and said. "I'm sure these photos are valuable!"
Professor Lewis shook his head hesitantly. Hans bargained again. "One thousand dollars!"
The professor thought for a moment and finally said, "Well, they may be useful to my friends who are working in the geography field. After all, the photos captured the Egyptian geography half a century ago."
Li Du was stunned. "You have seen these photos before also?"
A student laughed. "We lost all these photos together. They were used during the Egyptian Cultural Exhibition."
The trip to Tucson helped them earn 161,000 dollars. Although they were tired because of such a long journey, they still earned a fortune.
Both parties got what they wanted, and then they said goodbye to each other happily.
Stepping out of the coffee shop, Hans kicked the trash bin and shouted, "Sh*t! Sh*t! Sh*t! Thank God!"
Li Du laughed, "It is not the first time we earned this much money. Why are you acting so excited?"
Hans said, "Do you think I was excited because of the money that we made? No! I am excited because we can join the Hundred Thousand Club now!"
Li Du was puzzled at first, then he understood that Hans was referring to their total profit. Their profit from the books had been 39,000 dollars. With the total of 161,000 they earned from the photos, they could each get 100,000 dollars.
In addition, they had sold the mammoth ivory for 299,000 dollars. They had earned 100,000 from two storage auctions respectively. According to the regulations, they were qualified to join the Hundred Thousand Club.
Li Du was ecstatic after he understood what Hans was saying. "No wonder you insisted on selling them the photos at 1,000 dollars. But, d*mn it, we still need 100 dollars more."
They earned 39,000 from the new books, but they had bought the second-hand books at 100. Therefore, they had earned 38,900 in total.
Hans grinned, "But we still have a bunch of old books. Perhaps we can earn 100 dollars from them? Actually, I think I can sell them all at 500 dollars!"