Hans, Li Du, and friends had not expected Maurice to get a cannonball and were hence, shocked.
They thought Maurice was getting too excited and had lost control of himself. If he were to really fire the cannonball, none of them would get away with it: they would be spending a long time in prison.
Their reactions amused Maurice. He cackled loudly and said, "For Gods sake, the real 17-caliber mortar shell weighs 100 pounds. Do you think my staff member is carrying something that weighs 100 pounds?"
The employee explained, "This is just an empty shelljust the outer layer."
Li Du heaved a sigh of relief. Now that he had just begun to lead a wonderful life, he did not want to be thrown in jail.
Maurice used the empty shell to measure the caliber of the barrel. He opened the breechblock behind and stuffed the empty shell in, and gave the shell loader a kick.
Click! A sound was heardthat meant the empty shell had been loaded into the barrel.
Maurice became even more excited when he heard the sound. He patted the muzzle and said, "Good, this barrel is original. This fella is a good one, very good!"
Hans asked again, "Will you give us a price now?"
Maurice replied, "A fixed price of 500,000 dollars!"
Hans and Li Du glanced at each other. The price was too good. They had thought that the cannon could only be sold for 100,000 to 200,000 dollars.
Maurice thought the duo was not satisfied with his price as he saw them exchanging glances with each other. "Pals, this trench mortar may be good," he said, "but you most probably wont be able to find other suitable buyers. It will just be a pile of scrap iron if you keep it.
"Buyers of such items aint easy to find. Maybe there are people who like to collect weapons, but not cannonsthey may not have the legal rights to do so. Moreover, although the main parts of the trench mortar are original, the accessories are not..."
Li Du waved his hand and smiled. "Theres no need to say more, Maurice. This fellow belongs to you now."
Maurice, who had wanted to continue talking, was surprised for a moment and said, "Deal?"
Li Du stretched out his hand to him. "Deal!"
Maurice sighed, "When you came earlier, I thought Id be making money. In the end, Im spending money. Thats too bad."
Hans laughed, "Youll not lose money. Youll certainly make money from this trench mortar."
Maurice shook his head. "No, Im not selling it. Im thinking of keeping this bad boy as part of my collection."
Li Du commented, "That's even better. I bet this fellow will make a good addition to your collection.
"Of course, of course," Maurice replied with a gratified expression, "thats for sure."
Both parties signed the necessary papers, and Maurice gave them a check.
After issuing the check, he let out a sigh. "Pals, there goes one years worth of revenue."
Hans was surprised. "You earn 500,000 dollars a year? Thats amazing!"
"Yeah, and you fellas earn that amount in just a day," Maurice remarked. "You got my earnings for an entire year with one storage unit. I feel like joining the storage auction industry myself."
Li Du laughed, "We welcome you to join, but lucrative opportunities like this do not happen every time. In fact, Big Fox has been in this industry for over ten years, and this is actually the biggest amount hes earned."
Hans blinked and shrugged helplessly. "D*mn, you're actually right."
Godzilla and Big Quinn helped move the trench mortar. With Maurices guidance, they pushed the cannon into the basement, which was under the shooting range.
This basement was Maurice's private collection chamber. The door was huge and solid, as if it had been forged from a large piece of pig iron.
Hans remarked, "The door of a vault is like this."
Maurice laughed at the remark. "This is actually the door from a vault. A few years ago, a bank replaced some of their fittings and devicesobsolete items like this old-fashioned vault door were replaced. And we got the door by spending some money."
As the door opened, a large spacious area appeared before them.
The area of the basement was really enormous, at around 1,300 to 1,600 square feet, with a height of around 20 feet. Li Du looked up and felt that he had entered a military barracks!
The underground chamber contained firearms. It had everything from hunting knives, to shotguns, to pistols, to machine guns, and even some cannons of varying sizes!
The space next to the door was covered. Maurice explained, "That's my studio where I usually make guns and ammo."
Hans walked around for a while and said, "Israel's Galil assault rifles, the German G3 seriesoh wow, you have a full set of Soviet AK-47s?"
Maurice proudly said, "I can swear that the AK-47s here were produced by the Soviets. Theres an AKM up theredo you know whose signature is on it?"
"Who?" Hans squinted at the signature but he couldnt see it clearly.
Maurice said, "Emperor Kalashnikov!"
Hans exclaimed, "Oh my God, its priceless!"
The AKM was an old gun, developed half a century ago. It had the same father as the AK-47: the rifle emperor, Kalashnikov.
Kalashnikov had not often signed guns. When he did so, it meant that the gun had a special meaning to him. For example, the first batch of a sample gun, or a commemorative version of a gun.
After they brought the cannon in, they shook hands with Maurice and said their goodbyes. While the sky was still bright, they hurriedly drove back to Flagstaff.
On the way, Hans said, "That Maurice is really rich. The items inside his collection chamber are worth tens of millions of dollars!"
"More than tens of millions," Li Du added. "He can form a regiment with that amount of firearms. If he were in Africa, he could depend on his arsenal to be a warlord."
Hans switched on the radio and turned to Big Quinn. "If you were in Africa, you wouldn't need firearms to become a warlord."
Big Quinn was sitting at the back of the truck and was confused by Hanss words. "What?"
Li Du gave Hans a glare and said, "Its nothing. Pal, we would like to visit your place tonightare we welcome?"
Big Quinn laughed. "Of course, thats for sure. But I need to inform my family in advance. I actually wanted to invite all of you to my place for dinner."
When they reached Flagstaff, Li Du and Hans went to get a gift at the nearest supermarket where they bought two gift cards valued at 1,000 dollars each.
Big Quinns home was not far from the Bones Community. It was a common neighborhood with no walls or gates surrounding it, and there were many old houses in the area as well.
The truck stopped by the roadside, followed by the Hellcat. A few black kids who were playing around the area ran over and looked eagerly at the muscle car.
When Big Quinn got down from the truck, a tall and skinny black teenager cried, "Dad, youre back! Mom has prepared a lot to eat. There are guests coming?"
When Big Quinn saw the teenager, he had a content smile on his face. It was the first time that Li Du had seen a non-threatening look on Big Quinns face.
He patted the head of the teenager while smiling and replied, "Of course. Come, Walter, this is Uncle Li, this is Uncle Fox and this is Uncle Flores."
Hans fist bumped with the teenager and the young Walter asked, "Is this Hellcat yours?"
"Of course," Hans laughed, and the teenager looked a bit envious; Hans immediately added, "No, of course its not mine, haha."
The teenager said, "But it matches your temperament. All of you are cool."
Hans was elated and said, "Big Quinn, your son can talk well. Does he want to become a lawyer?"
Big Quinn grinned cheerfully and said, "I hope so, Big Fox."