"Uncle, whats wrong?" the young man asked anxiously.
Farhad carried the TV and shouted in a panic, "Wheres the dagger? Wheres the dagger I put in here? Where did the dagger go?"
The few of them were stunned. "Where did you put it? Didnt you put it here yourself?"
To keep it a secret, Farhad had personally hidden the valuable daggernobody else had known where it had been hidden.
This dagger was a tool used by the recently overthrown Gaddafi to decorate his office. Its base was made of rare black onyx, while its sheath and handle were of ivory-like material. It was affixed with diamonds, red rubies, sapphires, emeralds, opals, and other precious stones.
Someone in Farhads group had been one of Gaddafis guards, and had stolen this dagger amid the chaos.
But in America, such artifacts which had been brought into the country without being reported were considered contraband, and could not be publicly sold or auctioned.
Hence, these men had thought of the idea to use the storage auction as a cover to reveal the dagger, and then sell it at an auction at Christies or Sothebys.
But of course, with American law, it was not so easy to sell a contraband item, otherwise storage auctions would have been swamped by money launderers and smugglers.
To have displayed the dagger at an auction was the first step to selling it. There were other steps to follow, which would require the help of other organizationsit was extremely troublesome.
But they no longer had any trouble to deal with, since the dagger was missing.
Hearing what Farhad said, the young man asked in shock, "Uncle, y-y-y-you hid the dagger in the TV?"
Farhad shouted, "Of course, I had already thought of the storyjust say someone had stolen this dagger and hid it in the TV to be smuggled into America"
"But since the dagger had been painstakingly smuggled over, why would it be left forgotten in storage?" the young man asked.
Farhad reached out to slap him, and hollered, "Is this the most important question we have now? Wheres the dagger?"
"Is there another TV?"
Ballistic, Farhad yelled, "Only one TV, and it should be in here, but d*mmit its not!"
The young man immediately said, "Allah above, it must have been taken by that damn Chinese chap!"
Not convinced, Azzam said, "It cant be. Weve been waiting here since the auction ended. He didnt return at allno one was allowed to enter the unit during the auction."
"Then he must have removed the dagger after the auction had ended, and before we came back," Zamal said with certainty.
Azzam was even more doubtful, and said, "But, how would he know that the dagger was inside the TV? It was only a few minutes between the time the auction ended and our arrival. He couldnt have possibly searched the unit during this timethis is not what treasure hunters do usually."
"Maybe he suddenly felt like tidying the unit earlier and happened to find the dagger?"
"Yeah, and to find the dagger, he opened up the TV and then put it back together again?"
"Unless he knew the dagger was in here, right Farhad?" the muscular middle-eastern man who had been taking the lead asked with a grave face.
Farhad asked angrily, "What do you mean by this?"
The man replied icily, "You know what it means. The dagger was lost, lost in an unbelievable manneris this not a little strange?"
Farhad was fuming, "You mean I worked with a pagan to steal this dagger? Youre insulting me?"
The man sneered, "I dont mean anything. You dont have to explain it to me, just to Chief. If he believes you, then theres no problem."
Hearing the second half of his sentence, Farhad shuddered. "The dagger must be with that Chinese chap. Find him, find the dagger!"
The man snorted, "Not necessarily. Farhad, lets go and see Chief. We have no way of knowing whether you had actually put the dagger into storage!"
"Youre suspecting me? Youre suspecting me?!"
"I suspect everyone. Lets gogo see Chief!"
Farhad mumbled to himself and then said, "Dont panic, my brother Wahab. My memory may be failing me, lets search. I may have placed it somewhere else."
The muscular man glared at him solemnly. "Allah above, dont you try anything funny, or else I will make you wish you were dead!"
"Of course I wont try anything funny," Farhad smiled and then turned to his nephew, "Go, chase the people outside away. Lets move everything out."
People started to enter the unit to move the items out, and once everyone had entered, Farhad suddenly dashed out. He pulled down the shutters and then quickly locked it.
The people inside started to shout: "Farhad, whatre you doing?"
"You should go to hell, you villain. You dead donkey, it was you who stole the dagger!"
"Youre dead meat, you jerk, I swear to Allah youre dead meat!"
Outside the unit, Azzam and Zamal were both motionless. "Uncle, whatre you doing? Are you nuts?"
Farhad said in a panic, "Start the car, quick go, were leaving Kingman."
"Did you really take the dagger?" the young man Zamal looked thrilled.
Farhad snapped at him crossly, "No, not sure who the heck stole it."
"Then why are we doing this?"
"Because I cant go see Chief. He wouldnt believe me. Quick, lets go first. Go find out who took the dagger and then get it back before going to see Chief! Quick, go!"
Farhad pushed both of them forcefully. As the two of them recalled how Chief could be overly suspicious and violent, they shivered and then made their escape in the car.
Having left earlier, Li Du and gang were already travelling further and further away on Route 66.
The exquisite dagger was in his bag. He reached out to grab the handleeven as he put his hand into the non-ventilated bag on such a hot day, his palm did not perspire and remained dry.
This dagger was truly a treasure; under such hot weather, the handle was still cool to the touchit must have been made of quality materials.
But Li Du was no longer that pleased to have gotten the dagger. He felt that he might have caused his own misfortune. Since he was aware of the value of this dagger, its owner would have been even more aware of it.
The men could come after the dagger.
But given the current situation, Li Du could not bear to part with it.
He was not a saint, but a human with desires. This dagger was too exquisite and too valuablehe was willing to take the risk to keep it!
Hans could tell he was lost in his own thoughts. "What is it, are you dissatisfied with how this auction went?"
Li Du quickly found an excuse, and sighed, "I feel that it was not a wise thing to have taken the dagger away."
Hans pursed his lips. "But that was rightfully ours. Dont worry, buddy. This is Americaa lawful place. As long as we dont break the law, no one can do anything to us!"
Li Du shook his head. "Its not that simple."