Freddy started to get arrogant after acquiring house 10. He went up to Li and Hans.
"I cant believe you gave up at only 4,100 dollars? I heard that you both made more than 100,000 dollars in a few auctions. Dont tell me it isnt true?"
Hans shoved Freddy. "Wish you good luck."
Freddy continued, "I dont believe in luck, I believe in working hard for the things I want. Pals, this house is valuable. The owner of this house was the mayor of this town!"
"You knew about the owner of the house?" Li Du exaggerated his expression to mimic surprise.
Freddy laughed. "I knew you both had known about the owner, but what you dont know is that the ex-mayor was good friends with the late Richard Carpenter!"
The surrounding treasure hunters were astonished by what Freddy said.
"Where did you hear that from?"
"D*mn, there might be something related to the Carpenter siblings in the house!"
"Even if there is only one single disc with their signature, it will cover the cost of getting this house, Freddy!"
"We should have known! The owner was the mayorhe was the one who changed the name of the town to Carpenter Town!"
The Carpenters was a brother and sister band. The lead singer, Karen Carpenter, had passed away at a young age of 32 years old, at the peak of her career. Therefore, there were not many items with their signature.
While the treasure hunters were busy talking, Li Du had already made his way to the next house.
He did not see anything that was good enough for him to place a bid on. After the following four houses were auctioned, it was time to view house 15.
When Li Du walked in, it seemed as though the owner had left the house with only a change of clothes. Everything else had been left behind.
There was a sofa, a television set, a coffee table, a small dining table, and also lots of garbage. The kitchen was full of takeaway food containers.
Hans commented, "The owner must have been a nerd who seldom left the house."
Li Du then thought of the game titles he saw via the little bugthe owner mightve been a recluse who loved gaming.
However, if the owner had been a gamer, he would have taken these games he had collected over the years with him. Games were precious to game lovers, even if they werent worth much.
After the treasure hunters viewed the house, the auctioneer started the auction.
"This house is worth a decent bidlook at the furniture and the electrical appliances, they are pretty complete. Lets start with 500 dollars, 500 dollars, 500 dollars anyone?"
Li Du observed the treasure hunters, and noticed that Freddy was quietly observing him as well.
He deliberately gave Freddy a provoking look, and said, "500, me!"
Hans smiled while shaking his head, and he looked over at Freddy as well.
Freddy rubbed his hands and said, "600!"
Li Du placed another bid: "700!"
"Eight hundred dollars!" Another treasure hunter placed a bid.
Freddy stopped bidding when he saw another treasure hunter bidding for the house. Obviously, he did not know the real worth of this house; he just wanted to raise the bidding price for Hans and Li Du.
Once Mr. Li figured out Freddys intention, he spoke to Hans in a voice only the two of them could hear.
Then he called out loudly, "1,000!"
Many treasure hunters became uninterested once the bid price hit 1,000 dollars.
Freddy called, "1,100 dollars!"
Li Du continued bidding calmly. "Two thousand!"
Freddy furrowed his eyebrows. "Two thousand one hundred dollars!"
This time, Li hesitated for a few seconds before placing his bid. "Three thousand dollars!"
Freddy began to appear hesitant as well, and spoke slowly. "Three thousand one hundred dollars!"
Li Du smiled and waved his hands, as if admitting defeat. "Very good pal, you"
"Four thousand dollars!" Hanss voice was heard at the same time as Lis.
The smile on Li Dus face disappeared; he looked as if he were alarmed by Hanss bid. Hans seemed bewildered by Lis behavior as well.
"Sh*t, we couldve avoided this if you had told me your plans in advance!" Hans blurted out.
The surrounding treasure hunters burst into laughter; it appeared there had been some miscommunication between the both of them.
The treasure hunters now knew that Li Du wanted to set a trap for Freddy by jacking up the bidding price. But, apparently, the duo did not inform each other when to stopbefore they could get Freddy into their trap, they had exposed themselves.
Under such circumstances, nobody would attempt to outbid Hans.
Freddy was thinking about the "miscommunication" between themhe thought about the possibility of a hidden trap being laid by the duo. But besides frowning and furrowing his eyebrows, he did not show any emotion toward either Li or Hans.
Li Dus heart missed a beat when he saw Freddys calm and thoughtful demeanor. Indeed, Freddy was one tough looking guy with brains, difficult to fool.
Freddy must have heard a lot about them, and had done his own analysis about how the both of them behaved in the auctionsof the tricks they played and the tactics they used.
Li Du was glad there was no video of them. Otherwise, if Freddy saw how they worked together, and their methods, it would mean big trouble for them.
Li was still confident, as he had purposely given Freddy a provoking look at the start of the auction for house 15. The glare and the "miscommunication incident" he and Hans had staged would match up perfectly with one another.
He predicted Freddy would misjudge their intentions and let go of house 15.
Ultimately, Freddy did not place another bidthe main reason being the lack of information on this house, and of course part of it was attributed to Li and Hanss wonderful performance.
"Alright, so 4,000 dollars, 4,000 dollars, 4,000 dollars again4,100 dollars anyone?
"If nobody wants else then, 4,000 dollars once, 4,000 dollars twice, 4,000 dollars sold! Big Fox, house 15 is yours!" The auctioneer pointed at Hans.
Hans had a resigned look on his face, and laughed, "Oh wellcommunication is important!"
There were still another twenty houses for bidding. Li Du tagged along with the crowd while Hans went to make the payment.
Godzilla was given the go-ahead by Li to start cleaning up house 15.
The remaining houses were of no value; there was lots of trash inside. Hans was right: it was hard to make money from old-house auctions. The owner of a house would take their valuables along with them unless there were some unforeseen circumstances; otherwise, most of the time there was nothing of value left in a house, and they could only sell the windows and doors.
But there were always exceptions, especially when it came to people: there were house owners who would leave behind their furniture, air-conditioners, electrical appliances, television sets, etc.
Although these appliances were often not worth much, they would fetch a better price if they were still in working condition. The treasure hunters could then earn some cash out of the house.
This was one of the main sources of revenue in old-house auctions to the treasure hunters.
Li Du was interested in the furniture and other household items, as he intended to have his very own flea market to sell second-hand goods. These old items were thus useful to him.
The main problem preventing him from bidding for the houses was the location of Carpenter Town. It was too far from Flagstaff.
Secondly, Li Du had not finalized a location to house the goods or to host his very own flea market. But Li was not worriedhe could easily get such items from Flagstaff; the storage unit auctions there were mostly household items anyway.
Freddy was the star of this rounds old-house auction. He placed bids for many of the houses, and ended up with over a dozen; many treasure hunters were in awe of him.
Hans turned to Freddy and asked curiously, "Hey pal, how are you going to handle all that trash? Did you drive a Caterpillar 797 here?"
Contrary to the size of caterpillarstiny little wormsthe Caterpillar 797 was one of the worlds largest trucks ever made, with an average height of around 21 feet. The latest modelthe 797F was 50 feet long. It was so large that an adult man or woman would barely reach half of the height of the tire of a Caterpillar 797.
It had a 24-cylinder diesel engine with a fuel capacity of 2,000 gallons. It weighed around 1,230,000 pounds, had a load capacity of approximately 360 tons, and cost five million dollars!
It was definitely the ultimate, giant beast amongst trucks!
Freddy looked smug and laughed, "I dont have a Caterpillar 797, but I have my own means to deal with all this. Arent you a Treasure Tycoon yourself? Dont tell me you dont have an idea of how to handle all this stuff?"