America's social class hierarchy was tough to climb. It was hence difficult to change ones situation for the better. Big Quinn had tried hard and put in efforts to create a good environment for his children, but his job as a cleaner had made it impossible for him to achieve that.
When Li Du had extended his invitation to Big Quinn for the first time, he had gone home and talked to his wife Rosalind about this. Rosalind agreed to the possibility that he could work for Li so they could strive for a better future.
Therefore, when they met each other at the national park, where Li Du tried to recruit him a second time, his heart wavered; he agreed to work for Li not only because of the great offer, but also because he wanted a change.
They chatted a lot while drinking their beers and Big Quinn got to know of Li Dus deeds and achievements as a treasure hunter. Big Quinn began to look forward to his future.
He deeply understood that at his age, if no one lent a helping hand, he would not have the opportunity to change his fate.
At the end of the party, Rosalind, who did not drink, drove them each home. Li Du began his preparations for the upcoming storage auctions.
There were plenty of auctions going on. Hans found one two days after the dinner party, but they did not find anything very valuable.
Li Du was not interested in these ordinary units, but he had his own old-goods site, and that site required items to attract and keep other treasure hunters coming.
Because of that reason, he bid and won two storage units which could earn him a profit of some 2,000 to 3,000 dollars.
Hanss focus was not only on finding storage auctions, but also on finding ways of handling the hood ornament and umbrella; these were stolen goods, after all.
They brought back the antique furniture and daily necessities from Phoenix, and Hans sold them to Uncle Kevins home store for 4,000 dollars.
They had not brought back items to sell to Uncle Kevin in a while, and he was worried that the duo was finished dealing with him. In an attempt to foster and continue the good relationship, he treated them to a meal of his specialty: roasted lamb chops.
Uncle Kevin's lamb chops came from his own ranch. The lamb chops smelled great, and were very juicy and tastydefinitely much better than any that could be bought from the supermarket.
Li Du even took a box of lamb chops with him when he left. In the past, Uncle Kevin would have been muttering about how dissatisfied he was. But now, in order to maintain his "goods suppliers," he had prepared the best lamb chops for them.
Around mid-August, Sophie called him up. "Li, are you free this weekend?"
"For now, Im free," replied Li Du. "Unless theres some information about good storage units that pop up last minute."
"Thats good," Sophie said, sounding pleased. "My church has an event this weekend and my dad asked me to invite you over."
Li Du hesitated for a moment before blurting out, "But its your church activity. Is it okay to have me there? I'm not a Christian. Your dads the one who wanted to invite me?"
That startled Sophie; her voice sounded shy over the phone. "My dad did ask me to invite you over. But I also wanted to invite you. It would be best if I brought a partner along."
Li Du felt a sense of joy as he listened to the lady doctors explanation. "Okay, Ill certainly come this weekend."
The two of them chatted for a while. Sophie told Li about the event, that it was a charity, and mentioned that he might need to fork out some money so he could prepare in advance.
On Saturday morning, Li Du wore a leisure suit to attend the church event with Sophie. Rose, who was lying on the couch, teasing Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles, and urging them to fight each other, asked in a lazy tone, "Going to meet your little lover again?"
Rose always managed to make Li Du angry. He complained, "What do you mean by little lover?"
"Oh, your little girlfriend," Rose said, immediately rephrasing her words.
Li Du was in no mood to harp on that and replied, "Im going to attend a charity event. Now that Ive managed to get into Flagstaffs upper-class society, you should learn from me in your spare time. Be more self-motivated, okay?"
Rose curled her lip. "Dr. Martins a devout believer," she warned. "Let me give you a friendly tip: do not rush into things. Also, don't try to force yourself on Sophie. Dr. Martin's very good with a scalpel."
Li Du was irritated. "Dont talk nonsense. Im just friends with Sophie."
When he stepped out and closed the door, Rose deliberately said in a loud voice, "Wearing such showy clothes and you still claim to be just friends? Luckily youre not a peacock. Otherwise, your tail feathers would already be spread out."
Li Du shouted from outside the door, "Watch your mouth, woman. If your mouth itches, why dont I scratch it with my fist?"
Bam! The sound of a shoe hitting the door was heard. Rose yelled, "You jerk, youll going to get it if you come back in here!"
Li Du was baffled; when had he become a jerk? Is she on her period? Her tempers weird and cranky, he thought.
He drove to pick up Sophie. As usual, the lady doctor was sitting under the tree near the entrance to her apartment. She wore a long white dress and a necklace of the same color; she looked gentle and elegant.
Looking at the lady doctor, Mr. Li could not help puffing out a sigh. This was what a woman should be. The one at home was not a lady; she was a shrew.
He stopped in front of the lady doctor. She looked up, saw the new car, then put on a sweet smile and said, "Sorry, Im waiting for someone."
Li Du hurriedly lowered the car window and said, "It's me."
Sophie exclaimed, "Li? When did you switch to a car? I thought you were driving a motorcycle, and I was just trying to figure out how I should sit on it to avoid showing more than necessary."
Li Du opened the door for Sophie with a smile. "I feel that its too inconvenient without a car, so I bought this. How is it? Does it match my style?"
Sophie laughed and gave her opinion, "The Dodge Hellcat. This is a very aggressive car. Youre the one who bought it? I think Big Fox would like it better."
Li Du sighed. "Youre clever. I bought the car, but Big Fox is the one whos driving it most of the time."
The Hellcat had an amazingly high fuel consumption. On the other hand, the comfort one experienced sitting in the car was amazing as well.
The length of the car was similar to a Land Rover. However, the Hellcat was a two-door and two-seater muscle car. As there were only two seats, one could imagine the size of its spacious interior!
It was Sophie's first time sitting in this car; she could curl up and fit her entire body in the seat. She sat with her legs crossed and commented, "Wow, the seat is really huge."
The two seats of the muscle car also came with massagers installed. The machine's massage frequency and the car engine shared the same sound frequency. That meant there would be no clashing sounds when massage feature was activated.
The intensity of the massage could be adjusted with the control buttons located on the armrest of each seat.
These two spacious seats adopted the base design of the American sofa: the enveloping feel was comfortable and relaxing and the suede material provided non-slip capabilities. Although it was a large seat, one would not feel unstable sitting on it at all.
When Li Du was ready to go, he unconsciously glanced outside and asked, "Your neighborhood seems pretty good?"
Sophie's neighborhood was the common type of open, relatively spread-out community with dense areas of foliage and greenery. The houses there had larger lawns, bigger gardens, and spacious backyards.
The houses were neatly arranged, although they varied in style and design. This was far superior to the crudely-built houses in Big Quinns neighborhood.
Sophie replied, "Its not bad. I put the down payment on my house using the money I earned from working when I was still in college. I bought it when the price was still relatively low. If I were to get it now, it would be difficult."
Li Du was surprised, "Thats so cool! You actually saved up the money for a down payment just by working in college?"
Sophie chuckled, "Well, I had my scholarship too. I gathered all the money I could for the down paymentit was not a big sum of money."