Li Du was quite familiar with Brigham Young. When he had first applied to study in America, he had considered going to Brigham Young University, a school named after the historical figure.
Brigham Young University was one of the largest religious universities in America. According to the latest rankings of universities in America, Brigham Young was in the top 100 universities around the world.
The reason he hadnt gone was that he didnt make the cut.
Speaking of Brigham Young, Li Du felt that he was an interesting man. If he were to be evaluated with Confucianism values, there were several points worth debating about his character.
From his private life, the church founder, Joseph Smith, had 34 wives. After his demise, some of his wives and career were inherited by Brigham Young.
Also, in 1857, Brigham Young had once declared a complete quarantine of Utah against other regions, barring the federal army from entering. It was as if he were dividing the land to become another nation, to go against the federal government.
However, the man eventually became one of the most well-known religious leaders in American history.
Hearing what Hans had said, Li Du understood what Hans was trying to do. He wanted to use the fame of Brigham Young to boost the value of this distilling boiler.
This made him worried. "Im warning you, dont be rash. The Mormons might come knocking on your door."
Hans said frivolously, "Im going to knock on their doors instead, and sell this to them."
Li Du couldnt hold back a chuckle as he said, "Dream on, buddy. The Mormons dont drink, youre going after the wrong crowd."
The Mormons deemed that cigarettes, alcohol, tea, and coffee had adverse effects on the human body. Thus, these products would not appear in their diet.
Still, throughout the history, the Mormons had used equipment for making alcohol. They didnt brew liquor for their own consumption, but for sale. From the 18th century to the early 20th century, moonshine was one of the best ways to earn wealth.
Hans said, "Nothe reason Im going to sell it to them is not so they can make liquor, but because its a religious relic. In a way, Im returning this to them."
Puzzled, Li Du asked, "Then, youre trying to fool the Mormons? Why would they believe that this was something their leader had once used?"
That was like finding a Buddhist staff in China, saying it belonged to Bodhidharma, and selling it to Buddhists. Unless the buyers were fools, why would they buy it?
Hans snickered slyly, and switched on his computer to let him see a photograph. In the photo, there was a man with long hair, sitting beside a distilling boiler.
The long-haired man was Brigham Young, and the distilling boiler looked almost the same as theirs.
Of course, this had something to do with the resolution of the photo. It was one of those photos that had been taken with a vintage camera; so not only did it have a low resolution, it was a black-and-white photo.
Hans said, "This is a crazy coincidence, brother. I found this photo by accident.
"I was searching on the web for alcohol distillation equipment and historical figures, and this photo came up. After seeing it, I said, Alright, this must be an opportunity from God."
Li du let out the bug, and used the ability to playback the history of objects.
From the scenes that played, the person who had used this equipment was surely not Brigham Young. They were people wearing vests and ceremonial hats, which meant they were Amish.
Thus, he was feeling uneasy about Hanss plan. "Hey, your plan doesnt seem reliable. The Mormons wont fall for it."
Hans shrugged. "Sorry, but someone did fall for it. I posted the photo on the web a few hours ago, and someones already contacted me."
"There are really people that gullible?" Li Du asked.
Hans leaned back and said, "Thats something only God can answer you, my friend. Anyways, the other party will come a few days later to see the item, so well wait and see."
Li Du checked the info that Hans had posted online. He had posted two photographs: one was Brigham Young with his distilling boiler, and the other was a photo of theirs.
Also, Hans had added a short description including the proof of the equipments age, and a so-called "confirmation" statement from the Amish.
From that confirmation, he said the Amish had told him that the distilling boiler was found after an Amish village migrated during the 19th century, which landed them in Michigan.
Indeed, during the 19th century, the Amish had to migrate after being forced out by the locals. They went to Michigan first, then separated into two groups.
The larger group went northeast, to Pennsylvania, forming what was now the largest colony in Philadelphia. The other group went southwest, and ended up in Arizona.
During the same time period, the Mormons were migrating too. They reached Michigan on foot, and then headed west to Utah.
So there were technically no lies in Hanss description.
However, Li Du still couldnt believe that from this little bit of information the Mormons would believe that this was a piece of alcohol making equipment that one of their leaders used.
In late July, a few Mormons flew from Utah to Flagstaff. Three of them had arrived, and Hans had specially rented a Cadillac One to pick up the three.
The location they went to check out the distiller was at their cabin. The three middle-aged men introduced themselves after arriving, and then started examining the alcohol distilling equipment with an instrument.
Besides checking the materials of the distilling boiler, they also tested for the approximate production date of it. If it were the equipment in the photo with Brigham Young, then it would have been more than a century old.
Li Du was quite confident about this part, as he had watched the memories of the equipment. The first thing he had seen was someone making alcohol. From the bugs limits of being able to playback up to a hundred years or so, this distilling boiler was at least a hundred years old, because someone would have had to make it before it could be used for making alcohol.
After some detailed examination, the man in charge, named Nick, came over and said, "According to our examination, this could indeed, very well, be the distilling equipment used by our Father Brigham Young."
Li Dus face revealed his dismay; What the hell is this, did we really end up meeting such a gullible fool?
Hans instead, replied with a full smile, "Congrats, congrats on finding a relic of your church."
"Yes, were pleased as well," Nick said sternly. "This is an incredible find for us. Now, let's talk about the price. How much do you want for it?"
Speaking of money, Hans immediately jolted into high spirits. "Now an ounce of silver in the international standard is 17 dollars. Just the columns weigh over 300 ounces. That would total up to about 5,000 dollars just for the columns, right?"
Nick stiffly nodded and Hans continued, "However, since this is a historical item related to your religion, it would be disrespectful to calculate the price in such a fashion. Therefore, I believe that 100,000 dollars is a suitable price."
Li Du raised his head up to the sky, speechless. The way Americans think is different from how the Chinese think. But, regardless of the differences, at least they arent all idiots. If Nick accepts this price, then hes an idiot.
But after hearing the offer, Nick immediately said, "Alright, 100,000 dollars it is!"