"What is it?" Li Du whispered.
Hans did not answer him and went to find Valerie. "Please help us retrieve the data referring to our selling of the mammoth ivory!"
Valerie was eating fried chicken happily. She helped them make a call; soon, a list was printed out.
The system of the storage auction industry in the United States was very mature. There were a lot of employees and their management system was very formal.
After every storage auction, the treasure hunters could roughly list out their sales and expenditures. They recorded all their proceeds and put them in the association's database for backup.
It was not mandatory, but most of the treasure hunters would do this because it involved a tax issue and a social security issue. This was because treasure hunters were freelancers while paying the taxes and social security required a company to provide a surety.
Banks and the Internal Revenue Service constrained them to prevent someone to launder money in this industry.
The grading of treasure hunters by the Storage Auction Association was also based on the database. If there were no effective and reliable proof of income, the club would lose its credibility.
With this database, treasure hunters could not simply create and compile the data of their income as the IRS was monitoring the database. They had to pay the taxes based on the data.
No one was willing to pay extra taxes, and no one was willing to cheat on the treasures they got from warehousing; if this were discovered by the association, they would be expelled.
Trust was required to handle the goods after the storage auction, and integrity was greatly emphasized in treasure hunting.
Hans took a look at the data and asked, "D*mn itwe didnt ask the customer to sign on it?"
Valerie saw the data on her computer. She said, "Yes, you did not ask them to sign on it. Therefore, you all lack the reliable proof of income."
Li Du said, "But we have a tax certificate."
Rick said sarcastically, "No one knows what some people will do in order to join a higher level club. Some people are willing to pay for it, right?
Valerie said, "It's not a big deal. Li is right. You have the tax certificate, now the signature from the customer is what you need. You all didnt fall out with the customer, right?"
Li Du nodded. "We have a friendly and cooperative relationship."
Rick curled his lips and rolled his eyes; no one knew of the wicked intentions in his mind.
Hans went to make a call and said, "Adding a signature is easy, but I remember we can join the club as long as we have the tax certificate, right?"
Valerie said, "Yes, it is not strictly required..."
"Not strictly required?" Lil Rick asked exaggeratedly. "If so, anyone can simply join the Hundred Thousand Club by paying the taxes voluntarily. My dad can even join the Million Dollar Club. "
Hans said, "Yes, as long as you are willing to pay taxes on the income of 200,000 dollars!"
Lil Rick ignored him and said to Valerie, "We need to be in accordance with the rules and regulations, dont we? I remember there are strict requirements set forth by the association and club, right?"
Li Du understood that these people wanted to deliberately find fault with himself and Hans to prevent them from joining the Hundred Thousand Club.
Li Du pulled him away and said, "What did you do? Why did you make such a mistake?
Hans said helplessly, "They just deliberately try to look for a flaw which doesnt exist. In fact, only proof of income and tax are required in order to join the club."
It was too late to say that; they had been targeted by the villain.
Li Du said, "Lets contact our customers, including Professor Lewis, and ask them to add a signature."
Hans said, "I already contacted them. We can get the signature of Professor Lewis easily, but it is difficult to contact Ernst Brian.
Ernst Brian was the zoologist who introduced them to the mammoth ivory buyers. Li Du forgot the name of the buyers; he only remembered that they were from Italy.
Listening to Hans, Li Du suddenly understood. "They are currently not in the United States?"
"They changed their phone numbers!" Hans helplessly raised his cellphone to show him.
Li Du realized what had happened: After they sold the mammoth ivory, Ernst said that he planned to go to Europe with his Italian friends. At that time, they didnt care about it so they didnt keep the European contact number of Ernst.
Hans said, "But its not a problem. Ernst Brian and his friends are public figures. I will find a way to contact them."
Li Du shook his head and said, "Well, lets just take this as a lesson. We must be more careful in the future, and consider everything comprehensively."
"What do you mean?"
Li Du simply said, "We are not joining the Hundred Thousand Club. I believe the next chance is coming soon. Lets wait for a few days. Perhaps we can earn another 100,000 dollars in the next auction!"
In the past, Hans certainly would not miss such a chance. He was so close to joining the Hundred Thousand Club.
However, partnered with Li Du, they often got high-value storage units because of each other's special strengths. Therefore, he was confident in their future.
Rick and the others were staring at them. Valerie could not help them take shortcuts. They must complete the procedures themselves in order to apply for membership in the Hundred Thousand Club.
Seeing this, Hans flashed them his middle finger and said, "Good, you sl*t, we are not going to join the club this time. Lets see what reason you can find to stop us next time."
Rick and the others left triumphantly. On their way out, someone complimented Rick: "Jaffrey, you did a good job! We really found the way to stop them from joining the club."
Li Du faintly heard these words and he frowned. "These b*st*rds were purposely here to stop us?"
Hans said helplessly, "Obviously, we have become the enemy of the state."
Valerie laughed, "If you could have kept a low profile, everything that happened today could have been avoided."
Hans quickly asked, "What do you mean?"
Valerie said, "From the day you announced that you wanted to join the Hundred Thousand Club, there was more than one person trying to stop the both of you. The others would do the same thing even if Jaffrey hadnt come here today."
Li Du said angrily, "See? What did I say? We must work in high profile and keep ourselves under low profile!"
Hans said helplessly, "Obviously these b*st*rds are vicious! Okay, it is my fault this time. Once we are back in Flagstaff, I will immediately find some valuable storage units!"
Li Du shook his head, "No, we are not going to leave."
"What are you doing?"
"I must follow Rick. This b*st*rd destroyed our plan of joining the Hundred Thousand Club. I must stop this guy from bidding for treasures at the auction!"
Hans said, "Good idea; it seems like you are pretty angry."
Li Du was usually an even-tempered and tolerant person. Certainly, he would get angry when people bullied him. Of course he must fight back!
So they stayed in Phoenix. Hans followed Rick, and Godzilla went to workout in the hotel.
Li Du would have liked to walk around Phoenix with Ah Meow but the city was too hot and dry. So, he had to think of another way to pass the time.