Goatee smiled and said, "No, the Amish dont like making friends with people like me. However, they do like to barter, and my car happened to have stuff that they like."
"Youre a smart one," Li Du said.
"More like a smart scumbageveryone thinks Im a scumbag," he laughed heartily.
Li Du shook hands with him and said, "Im Li. Nice to meet you. Feel free to look, see if theres anything that you like."
"Im glad to meet you, Li. Im Garter, Goatee Garter. You toofeel free to see if anything from my truck catches your attention."
The truck was messy, full of rusted metallic items, copper items with Verdigris, some wooden furniture, and some crudely-made porcelain items.
Li Du felt that these things were close to being antiques. With his previous experience involving the dodo bird, he was quite interested in the things the Amish had. Thus, he let out the bug.
Faithful to his expectations, when the bug came out, it immediately flew toward a small machine made up of iron cans and steel pipes.
Li Du recalled it back, and wordlessly reached out his hand to touch the machine.
The small machine was made up of two main parts: one was with iron cans, the other was a mix of some sort of shunts and dividers.
Some of the iron cans were connected to some of the thick, steel pipes. He traced with his fingers, and found that the iron cans and shunts were connected. It appeared to be a kind of tool.
He didnt know what this was for, so he glanced at Hans and gestured to him.
"Whats up?" Hans walked over and said in a soft voice.
"Look at this. Do you have any idea what is it?"
Hans smiled. "Something worthlessa moonshine distilling boiler. I had something like this at my last place. In the past, these were fairly common in rural areas."
"Oh, so this is equipment used for moonshine?"
"Yeah, whats up?" Hans asked. "Youre interested in it?"
Li Du let out the bug once again, and it flew excitedly toward the distilling boiler for the second time. From the looks of it, this thing had been around for quite awhile.
He spoke quietly: "I feel that this is some sort of antique. Its giving off an unordinary vibe."
Hans said with a laugh, "Are you familiar with our moonshine culture? In fact, many of these distilling boilers are old enough to be our grandparentstheyre very durable."
"Moonshine culture? This sort of thing has a culture too?" Li Du asked.
"Of course, buddy. Dont you know the history of moonshine? Its as old as the States!"
The term "moonshine" originated from the job of making alcohol secretly at night. The reason for doing this was to evade the high taxes of alcohol, or to bypass anti-drinking laws in some places.
Moonshine had appeared in America since the earliest parts of its history. The phenomenon was more rampant in rural areas, and for a long time, most of the whiskey and brandy that flowed into the market were moonshine.
Soon after the American Revolutionary War, financial issues caused by the prolonged war started surfacing. Thus, the American government increasing the taxes on distilled alcohol.
However, since the American citizens had just rid themselves of taxes from the English, they were unhappy with the new policies. They decided to continue making their own whiskey and ignore the taxes.
To the early moonshiners, making and selling alcohol hadnt been a way to make a quick buck. It had been a way of life, a career.
When the harvest had been bad, farmers could ferment their corn into whiskey, and make some extra income so that they could get through the tough days.
For them, taxes had spelled the end of their income, so despite the strict regulations from the government, farmers would still try to think of ways to make moonshine.
But the government had started using more extreme methods. When the war had just ended, most of the farmers were retired veterans. Facing the government officials who were forcing them into a corner, the farmers picked up arms and started an armed protest.
"In the 1860s, the government passed a bill to increase taxes, to raise funds for the American Civil War. This method heated up the conflicts between the moonshiners and the authorities."
"At that time, society was so messed up, brother, too messed up," Hans said as he shook his head.
Li Du asked, "How bad was it? Were there violent riots?"
Hans scoffed, "Even worse! The moonshiners and the KKK went into an armed alliance, and started armed battles with the government!"
Li Du said in shock, "Those guys were crazy!"
The KKK was one of the most notorious cults in American History. They were white supremacists, discriminating against all other races, and loved to use violent methods to get their intentions across.
Hans continued, "Whats worse, buddy, was that to protect the information of their manufacturing locations, the moonshiners would threaten and terrorize residents! They would even attack the families of the tax officialsmany were violent lunatics!"
"Thats too much," Li Du said. "I somewhat know what happened to the moonshiners. They started forming gangs, right? They used the Chicago Typewriter as weaponsIve seen those on TV."
"The Chicago Typewriter" was the nickname of the Thompson Submachine Gun.
In the 1930s, this gun was a favorite of American gangs. It was only 34 inches long, and without bullets, it was only about 2 lbs. It could easily be hidden in coats, while boasting high firepower.
"Thats not what really happened," Hans said, shaking his head. "Afterwards, although the number of moonshiners increased, most of them were not radicals, but farmers from villages."
It could be said that the American government was pushing the limits. In the early 20th century, America had consecutively passed several laws prohibiting the sale and purchase of alcohol-related goods.
In 1920, the alcohol ban was made effective nationwide. Almost in an instant, there was no legal alcohol that could be purchased. The demand for moonshine shot up.
It wasnt until 1933, when the alcohol ban was scrapped, that the moonshine market started to shrink.
Although in the 1960s and 1970s moonshine continued to pose some problems for the federal agencies, reported cases of illegal moonshine was scarce.
In the present, due to the poor texture and unstable quality of moonshine, it rarely appeared in the market. Tools and equipment for making it had become unpopular.
There were still some people who liked old-fashioned ways of living and would buy this equipment. They would usually only make the moonshine for personal use, or just to have a taste of the past.
The Amish were persistent in making their own moonshine. They didnt actively participate in trades of the market and economy; they were only active in their own communities, so their alcohol had to be made by themselves.
The moonshine equipment used by the Amish was kept in great condition, and would thus high in value.