Li Du had actually spent more than 10,000 dollars to buy this storage unit. Andrew stared at him in confusion with his furrowed brows. Evidently, he had no idea why Li Du had bought this storage.
The other treasure hunters were even more baffled, but as the doors to the next unit opened, they dashed over, without paying any further attention to his actions.
According to procedure, Li Du should close the storage doors and affix his own lock on it. He let Hans and the Playboy go ahead with queuing up first while he went to close the door only when no one else was around.
Before he did that, he went in to dismantle the television, then removed the precious dagger from within and stuffed it into his bag. He reassembled it before locking up and leaving.
Hans saw that he was carrying this bag carefully, and that he kept checking on it, so he asked, "What did you get ahold of?
Li Du gave him a look. "Dont say anythinga treasure."
Bewildered, Hans asked, "You like it that much?"
Li Du waited until no one was looking and then pulled him into a corner. He opened the boxthe bejeweled dagger was revealed.
Hans took a deep breath. "Sh*t! But are the gemstones on it real? If theyre real, who would put a treasure so valuable in storage and forget about it?"
Li Du shook his head and said, "I dont know. In any case, once I saw it, I resolved to get that storage unit."
He could not resist stroking the dagger. This was the first time he had been in contact with such a treasurehe could not bear to put it away.
Hans said, "If it were real, that thing should not be sold..." He shook his head, and asked abruptly, "Li, you like it, right?"
Li Du said matter-of-factly, "Who wouldnt like it?"
"You want it?" Hans asked. "Keep it."
Li Du shrugged; he was not in need of money, and he was not keen on selling this dagger, as he knew that it was authentic. If not for moral obligation, he would not have shown the dagger to Hans. He would have kept it for himself, since Hans would have been none the wiser.
Hans was aware of the meaning behind Li Dus reaction, and said, "Alright, according to our deal, you can keep it, since you saw something you liked very much.
Li Du laughed, "You really believe this? Can you bear to part with it?"
Hans also burst into laughter. "Honestly, I like it too. If I had gotten it, I would keep it instead of selling it. But obviously youre more suited than I am to be keeping it."
He was very clear that while it was a partnership between him and Li Du, Li Du was the one with the most control.
While the two of them spoke in soft whispers, the Arabian man rushed back, bringing with him a few muscular-looking men. A locked door appeared before them.
A tall, wide-eyed bearded man boomed, "Azzam, whats going on? Tell me whats going on?!"
The middle-aged Arabian, who had participated in the bidding, said in a panic, "I dont know Farhad. No, I know, the auction for this storage unit has ended"
"D*mn it!" The bearded Farhad kicked Azzam. "Am I blind? Of course I know that the auction has ended. I AM ASKING YOU what youre going to do about it!"
Humiliated, Azzam stood up. "I know, I know. I know how to handle it. Its just the storage unit being sold, the owner hasnt packed it yet. We will just need to get the unit from him!"
Farhad gave the door a hard kick, causing the shutters to rattle loudly. He continued his tirade, "D*mmit you dumb*ss! Such a simple task and you still messed it up!"
Feeling wronged, Azzam said, "I did not expect so many people to be interested in this storage unit. Its not worth much!"
Despite hearing that, Farhad did not stop ranting. A muscular-looking man stopped him, then frowned and said, "Why? Theres nothing valuable in this unitwhy would they offer such high bids?"
"Would someone know that weve hidden the Gaddafi dagger in there?" a younger man with dark eyes asked.
The muscular-looking man glared at him, and raised his leg to kick him as he said grimly, "You sure know a lot!"
Farhad grabbed hold of the man and gave the young man a look. "Shut up, Zamal, shut the hell up!"
The young mans expression darkened, but as though something had suddenly occurred to him, he lowered his head and kept quiet.
After some thought, Azzam said, "Maybe there are some wealthy people attending the auctionthe first storage unit sold for 165,000 dollars."
Farhad was shocked. "What? Sold for 165,000 dollars? God, what was in that unit for it to be worth so much?"
Azzam said, with embarrassment, "Im not sure about thatyou know this is my first time at such an auction."
Farhad looked at the muscular man and said, "Looks like storage auctions can be a profitable trade, and can be used to clear stuff. So, we should join in."
Azzam nodded and said, "Yes, based on what I know, it can make you a lot of money. Many Americans have gotten wealthy this way."
"Then why did you not say so earlier?" The muscular man slapped Azzam, causing him to tumble to the ground.
As the weather was scorching hot, they waited at the sheltered side of the unit for the storage units owner to return.
The auction ended at noon.
After Li Du and the rest had made the payment, they went for lunch instead of tidying the unit.
At lunch, the Playboy wanted to satisfy his curiosity. "What did you see in unit 62? Why did you keep bidding?"
As Li Du devoured his burger, he said, "Didnt see anything, I offered only because I noticed that Arabian guy being anxious about itI felt that he must have known what was in the unit."
The Playboy responded, "So youre an expert at playing with peoples minds."
Helping Li Du to change the topic, Hans said, "Im more looking forward to whats in the second storage unit. Buddy, 31,000 dollars, thats 31,000 dollars!"
Playboy said, "Whats the big deal? My units more than 160,000 dollars."
It was the first time Li Du knew of anyone who paid such a price for a storage unit; he wondered, "To pay 160,500 dollars for a storage unit, whats there to earn?"
The Playboy smiled and replied confidently, "Of course, the things in there could sell for 180,000 dollars. If the right person is found, I could get more than 200,000 dollars."
At this point, he added, "But even if it could only go for 180,000 dollars, it would still be better than going home empty-handed, right?"
Li Du nodded; as he threw away the cup after finishing his iced orange drink, he said, "Alright guys, lets get to work!"
The nickname "Playboy" was not wasted on Akkalouhe had a gentlemanly demeanor about him. He did not get his hands dirty, instead hiring two movers who did the job for him.
Li Du and Hans tidied the second storage unit first; this unit had more valuable items.
The Playboy came over and said, "If you guys need help disposing of your stuff, I think I can help provide the channels. Dont stand on ceremony with me."
Today, he had collaborated with the duo to teach Andrew a lesson, causing him to have gained nothing. The Playboy was delighted with the outcome and had naturally developed a better impression of Li Du and Hans.
Li Du asked, "Okay, are these clothes easy to dispose of?"
The Playboy replied, "Not at all. The best way is to repackage them and then send them to Asia or Africa to be sold. They should be packaged as new items sold at a discount, in order to fetch good prices."
Li Du said, "So just package and then sell for a discount."
"But your quantitys too small," the Playboy lamented. "Its not worth it. Are you willing to wait more than a month, just to earn 2,000 or 3,000 dollars?"
Li Du shook his head. "Forget it."
It was not an easy job sorting out the clothing, shoes, and hats; Li Du and Hans were perspiring profusely as they packed and stacked the items.
On the other hand, Godzilla was moving the cupboards and cabinets out. As Hans was folding a skirt, he said, "Be careful bro, be careful. Were depending on these cabinets to make us some money."
Suddenly, a knocking sound was heard coming from within a cabinet. Godzilla stopped, opened the cabinet, and took half a step backwards as he shouted, "Sh*t!"
"What is it?" Hans stood up and asked.
Godzilla said, "Theres a snake!"
Hans was astounded, "Snake? How can it be, bro? It should have died of heat in the storage..."
Li Du said calmly, "Thats not a real snake. Godzilla, dont worry and take it out."
Godzilla scratched his head, squatted down to have a look and then chuckled, "Its not a snakeits a purse."
He stretched out his hand that was holding the purse. Covering the exterior of the purse was greyish-brown snakeskin; there was a realistic-looking snakes head on the clasp.
It was no wonder Godzilla had been frightened: the snakes head was very lifelike, with its mouth revealing sharp fangs, and two gleaming red eyes just like a real snake.
Li Du smiled. "This is good stuff, buddy."
Hans stretched his hand out, "Let me see..."
Out of nowhere, a hand stretched out to grab the purse - it was the Playboy. With a shocked look, he said, "God, its THAT purse?!"