When Li Du came out of the bank, he handed a stack of green hundred dollar bills to Big Quinn.
Looking at the crisp dollar notes, Big Quinn had a startled expression. "Whats this for?"
"I dont think you will get your paycheck anytime soon, and your housing loan cant wait that long. Use this to pay for that. Treat it as though you have borrowed it from me," Li Du smiled.
However, there was no smile on Big Quinns face, instead he appeared to have his guard up. "What do you mean, pal? Are you a loan shark?"
Li Du shrugged. "You think I look like one?"
Big Quinn shook his head hesitantly while he took a good look at Li Du. "You look scholarly, like a college student."
Li Du placed the stack of bills on the dashboard of Big Quinns pickup. "Well, you can think of me as Mr. Nice Guy. I just wanted to help."
Big Quinn chuckled. "Youre not Mr. Nice Guy, but rather, a real nice guy. I can see that from your eyes and your smile."
"Of course I am. Besides that, if you dont mind, I would like to know how much you currently earn each month?"
"I have a weekly pay of 800 dollars, and at the end of every month, I get a bonus. Thats 3,400 to 3,500 a month," Big Quinn replied.
Big Quinns salary was considered decent in Flagstaff. Li Du continued, "Okay, if I pay double your monthly salary, would you be interested in working for me?"
Although this was the first time Li Du had met Big Quinn, he was already impressed with Big Quinns character and temperament. He wanted to get Big Quinn to work for him.
After winning the three super-sized storage units in Phoenix, Li Du felt that he should consider scaling up, and attend bigger storage auctions like that. And if he could have another worker like Godzilla, they could work more efficiently as well.
Plus, he noticed there was now an increase in the amount of treasure hunters who felt animosity toward him. Godzillas candid aura was straightforward while Big Quinns aura was daunting and domineering. His savage smile would save Li Du a lot of unwanted trouble.
Big Quinn narrowed his eyes and pondered Li Dus words for a while. As his thick, but short, brows wrinkled together, he had a menacing look on his face.
Shaking his head, Big Quinn turned down the offer: "Sorry Mr. Li, I need a job with a stable income, as I have my housing loan, and my car loan to take care of as well."
Big Quinn felt that being a treasure hunter was a job with an unstable income.
Li Du didnt want to be deemed too pushy, so he shrugged and said, "Oh well, thats too bad."
Big Quinn wanted to return the money to Li Du, but Li Du rejected the offer. "Thats two different matters altogetherI am still willing to help you. Take the money."
Big Quinn hesitated again. He slowly took the money and said, "Thank you so much pal, I really appreciate this. The truth is, I am really in need of some cash right now."
Two years ago, when the subprime mortgage crisis broke out in the United States, many people had lost their homes. There had been a sharp increase in poverty rates everywhere, and higher unemployment rates prevailed. There had been a significant shrink in the working class, and it was a much tougher time making ends meet, especially for the working class and below.
Therefore, Li Du was certain that Big Quinn needed, and would accept, his help, for the thought of losing a house was too terrifying for a family.
Big Quinn drove Li Du back to Pine Tree Tops. He also took out a small notebook and wrote out an IOU. "Pal, I will return you the money to you as soon as possible."
Li Du responded, "Take your time, theres no hurry. You want to come up for a coffee or something?"
Big Quinn looked envious when he saw that the houses of Pine Tree Tops had a surrounding wall as a boundary, making it a secure neighborhood.
"Maybe some other time. Ive got something going on. Just a question though: is it nice living here?"
"In what aspect?" Li Du was surprised by the question.
Big Quinn replied, "Security, surroundings, the neighbors, and how happy you are living here: I bet it must be wonderful."
Li Du smiled. "Not bad, maybe you can get a unit and live here in the future."
Big Quinn grinned, the same savage smile he had seen at the bar. "For that, I will really need Gods blessing."
He left, and Li Du watched the pickup drive away into the horizon.
Li Du had taken the initiative to lend Big Quinn some cash because he wanted Big Quinn to have a good impression of him. Not only that, he also wanted to find out if Big Quinn was someone whom he could trust, someone who was worthy enough to be a part of his team.
Although the big guy had rejected him earlier, Mr. Li was optimistic that he would be able to recruit Big Quinn one fine day.
Over the next few days, Hans was busy cleaning, polishing and then selling the picnic equipment, and the pots and pans to Uncle Kevin. Although these items were inexpensive, they had quantity; Hans managed to sell them for the neat price of 6,000 dollars.
They had spent 3,000 dollars to obtain the unit. After deducting their other expensesGodzillas wages, petroleum, food and accommodation, and the fees for hiring three trucksthey still had a negative return so far.
However, they were not worried, as they still had their bicycles.
At end of June, Hans brought the whole lot of bicycles to a bicycle dealership in Flagstaff. The bicycle dealership also sold second-hand bicycles.
The owner of the bicycle dealership was a capable black man. When he saw Hans, they shared a friendly hug and laughed together.
"Big Fox, Ive heard about your achievements: youre earning big bucks now!"
Hans proudly answered, "Well, then you should know why I am here today."
The black owner nodded his head, "I guess you are here to help me earn big bucks too."
Godzilla opened the semi-trailer, but the black man frowned when he saw the bicycles. He shook his head and said, "D*rn, looks like I am wrong, you want me to help you get rid of some trash!"
Hans climbed up the semi-trailer and brought down four bicycles with great care. These four bicycles were protected with bubble wrap. When Hans took off the bubble wrap for one bicycle, it looked clean, new, and in good condition.
The owners eyes lit up with enthusiasm. "Oh my god! Its a Tyrell! Tyrell is a German brand. A luxury brand that produces high-end quality bikes. They are especially known for their handmade bicycle frames. This is SO cool!"
"So hows that, boss? Is this still trash in your eyes?"
The owner of the bicycle dealership was obviously a bicycle fanatic. He shook his head eagerly. "No, no, no, of course not! This is a Tyrell with a hundred-year-old history! Come on, let me take a closer look at this fellow!"
Tyrell Bicycle Corporation was founded in 1912, and their bicycles were well-known for their craftsmanship in frames, their beautiful design, and high performance. They were the Maybach in the bicycle industry.
Hans removed the bubble wrap from the second bicycle.
The owner gasped. "Oh its a LOOK, a LOOK Cycle from France! Its a LOOK Peter Pan! I like French stuff!"
Unlike Tyrell, LOOK Cycle was a strong newcomer to the market, established in 1986. LOOK Cycle was a French bicycle manufacturer widely known for their carbon bikes, and a world leader in clipless pedals.
Hans crossed his arms and asked, "It isnt a knock off, right?"
The owner carefully examined the bicycle that had a condition of eight out of ten, gave a nod and said, "Its authentic, this is indeed a LOOK carbon bicycle. See this? This angle between the top tube and down tube of the frame is 72.5 degrees. This is the shock absorber, see the LOOK logo inside?"
After finishing examining the two bicycles, the owner looked at the other two bicycles in anticipation.
The four bicycles were made by world-renowned brands. Hans had them specially sent for maintenance and polished up, as they were the best finds besides the Patek Philippe watch that Li Du had chosen to keep under wraps for now.
When Hans removed the bubble wrap from the third bicycle, the owner went into a frenzy. "Colnago! Colnagos Silver Moon Legend! This little fellow has a nasty temper, and yet, it fell into your hands!"