During the storage auction in Phoenix at the Bureau of Land Management, Rick and his team suffered a loss, just like Napoleon, who was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo.
The unit they bought at a price of 10,000 dollars was considered a huge loss. Not only were the books and magazines inside cheap, but they were also heavy as well. For six men, a strong team, it was considered heavy work.
Although Li Du kept quiet about the Patek Philippe watch, the bicycles and the picnic equipment they harvested from their units seemed profitable enough.
When they finished packing up their units and were about to leave, a well-built treasure hunter came over. "Hey pals, its been a hot day, want some cold beer? Li, I wanted to thank you for the information you shared."
Hans took the Budweiser stout and the ice packs from the tough looking guy, while Li Du spoke in a friendly tone, "You dont have towe have a grudge with that Dog Ears RickI didnt want to see him getting his hands on that unit."
"I understand, but I heard hes a real petty fellow, he must feel that his reputation as a treasure tycoon in Flagstaff has been challenged by you both," the treasure hunter said. "Anyway, you both gotta be careful."
"We understand. Thanks for the heads up, Ferris, hope you make a killing with the electronic gadgets." Hans gave Ferris a pat on his shoulder.
Ferris, a black treasure hunter, had won the auction for the unit full of electronic devices; it seemed like his investment was looking good. Although there were a lot of broken devices, the parts inside were preserved well, as per what Li Du had said. And these parts could be sold for some cash as well.
Ferris laughed heartily. "I think I might. From the looks of it, my unit seems to have a lot of good stuff inside."
Ferris turned to walk away after saying goodbye, but he suddenly turned back again. "Oh yeah, you two better watch out for Freddy as wellthat fellows been asking around for news about you both."
"Freddy? Whos that?" asked a bewildered Li Du.
Hans replied, "You remember that unit of sculptures that Lucas had Anthony buy on his behalf? There was an annoying black fellow provoking us. I think he sees us either as a stepping stone or as a stumbling blockeither or, its not good news. "
Li Du nodded his head, as he recalled that fellow who had kept making snide remarks about them.
With three trucks of trash following behind, they set off for Flagstaff.
Li Du wanted to go to the dump to dispose of the trash, but Hans disagreed. "Theres too much trash, it will be costly to get rid of it all. I know of a better way to settle them."
His supposedly fine idea was to drop off a pile of trash beside every community trash bin.
Li Du felt that was mean of them to do that, but it was late, and the truck drivers were in a hurry to go back as well...
And so that night, every community trash bin received a huge pile of trash beside it.
Li Du shook his head disapprovingly. "I have a feeling we are going to get into trouble for doing this. This is bad karma."
Hans smirked. "I have been doing this for years, and God hasnt punished me for it. In fact, even the police could not do anything about it. The waste management companies wont know who did this anyway."
Hans was too full of himself.
Li Du received a call from Hans the next morning, "Hey, are you free today? We got caught for what we did last night."
"What is it?" Mr. Li was confused for a moment before he understood what Hans was trying to say. "Oh d*mn, youre talking about the trash right?"
Li Du thought it was nothing serious and suggested, "Okay, we are at fault for this one, if they want a fine, just pay it. We should apologize as well "
"Nah, the cleaners want to negotiate; it doesnt look good."
Li Du then took a cab to the Foxs residence to fully understand what was going on.
"Whats going on? What do you mean by the cleaners want to negotiate?"
Hans explained, "Well, did you know that Flagstaffs cleaning jobs are done by the blacks? They are sort of like a gang, and they want to talk."
"Whats there to talk about?" said a baffled Li Du.
"I guess maybe they wanted to warn us, or maybe extort some money from us," Hans deduced.
Extortion was not something that Li Du had expected. If they had to pay a fine, Li would not make any excuse and agree to that instantly. But if it were extortion, Li Du would not let them have their way.
"Fine then; where is the meeting place? Well go together!"
When Godzilla heard that they would be negotiating with a gang, he wore a military flip belt.
Li Du got worried and asked, "Hans, how about bringing along your 1911 pistol?"
Hans snorted. "Buddy, this is Flagstaff, not Detroitwe are not fighting over turf theres no need for that."
Godzilla nodded in agreement as well. "If you are reported for carrying a gun outside, the consequences will be worse than littering."
The negotiation was held at a bar named "Dust & Wolves." The bar was situated in the suburbs of Flagstaff; as the meeting took place in the daytime, there were not many people in the bar.
When the trio reached the bar, a group of black men who were drinking their beer, stood up and looked at them. Most of them wore blue overalls, which was the uniform of the local cleaners.
When Li Du saw this group of men, he understood why Hans had said there was no need to bring any weapon along. Most of the men were old, averaging at around fifty years; they looked honest and humble.
"Hans Fox? Nice to meet you, I am Sandy," a Morgan Freeman look-alike old man spoke.
Hans nodded his head. "Yes, Im Hans. Good afternoon pals, weve hit the dog days of summer; I feel like Im turning into a piece of jerky by the d*mn sun!"
A disgruntled black cleaner replied, "And because of you, we need to work until noon since early morning to clear up the mountains of trash all over the city. In a normal day, we could have got off work before the sunrise. And with the weather like this, do you understand how we feel?!"
Sandy spoke in a low but firm voice, "Sal, calm down, we can talk this over slowly."
Both parties sat down and Sandy said to the bartender, "Ralph, three more glasses of beer."
The bartender gave them three big glasses of cold beer. It was the lower-priced Singha beer, manufactured by a Thailand brewery. They positioned themselves to attract the lower-income group of beer drinkers in the States.
Li Du took a sip and said, "Hans told me you wanted to negotiate. I would like to hear your thoughts."
Godzilla finished the big glass of beer in one gulp; as the sound of the glass hit the table, everyones attention turned to Godzilla, and when they saw his well-toned arm muscles, the group of black men furrowed their eyebrows.
Sal spoke in a low voice, "D*rn, how come Big Quinn is still not here?"
However, Sandy seemed unperturbed by the distraction. "Pal, you should sip your beer and slowly enjoy it. Gulping it all at once is a waste."
Hans laughed, "I do not doubt your taste, but is this considered good beer?" He turned to the bartender and raised his hand, "Bring me a Stone IPA."
America had a unique beer culture; if one were to write about this topic, it might very well become a book. In short, IPA was well regarded as one of the good quality beers.
Stone Brewing was a brewery founded in San Diego, Southern California. San Diego was also known as the capital of craft beer. It was home to many breweries, and Stone beer was one of the most popular.
Not only was Stone available in almost all of the United States, but its beer was also exported to countries like Canada, Europe, Japan and Singapore.
The bartender glanced at Hans and said, "Twenty dollars for one bottle."
"Okay, give me twenty bottles," Hans smiled.
Although the group of old men curled their lips with disdain, their eyes betrayed their envy.