The middle-aged man, still glaring at Big Quinn, said, "Sell an umbrella? This is a pawnshop. Bro, youre probably at the wrong door."
There was a voice from inside the house: "Old Song, let them in. Im buying the umbrella."
Old Song turned back with a surprised glance, then held out his hand. "Gentlemen, this way. What umbrella is my young master interested in?"
They had used Mandarin during their entire conversationHans had no clue what was going on and could therefore not interject at all.
A long hall welcomed them when they entered the house. It was simply decorated and the ground was covered with bricks. Paintings hung on the wall while the furniture seemed to be made of mahogany.
At the counter in the front, a thick piece of sandalwood incense was lit. The smoke lingered, and the faint scent permeated the air.
Behind the counter, a delicate-looking youth was sitting on an old-fashioned wooden armchair. Seeing the trio, he stood up and asked, "Did you bring the umbrella?"
He used English to ask, and so Hans understood him. He opened the box and asked, "Are you Mr. Tang? The umbrellas here, please take a look."
The youth took the umbrella, and opened it with a whoosh. He looked carefully at the umbrellas handle and structure before looking at the fabric, all without saying a word.
There were no customers in the pawnshop. While the youth did not speak, Li Du felt that the mood there was stifling, even a little depressing.
Although the youth was meticulous with his inspection, he did not take too long with it. After his scrutiny, he nodded. "Its a good umbrella."
Old Song pursed his lips. "How can any umbrella made by these foreigners be any good? All machine-madelooks good but not good for use."
The youth laughed, "Old Song, you fuddy-duddy. Not sure when you will be more up-to-date with trends. Stop hanging on to those things from your ancestorsyou have to admit it when other items are superior. Otherwise, how will you learn from them and become better than them?"
Old Song was unconvinced. "If this thing from the foreigners is so good, then let them enter the Crystal Cave and dig"
"Spouting your crap again!" The youths tone became severe. "Get the money, were buying this umbrella."
Old Song mumbled, "Right, I wont say any more. How much?"
"This is 10,000 dollars?" the youth asked.
Hans nodded. "Yes, yes, 10,000 dollars."
The youth said, "Then go get them 10,000 dollars and see them out."
The business deal had started on a strange note and ended the same way. Hans could not care less about the strangeness, however, as long as he could make money.
The middle-aged Old Song opened the safe casually and took out a stack of glossy US dollars. He put it on the table and said, "Yours."
Li Du had sharp visionthrough the gap between the door and the wall, he had seen piles of US dollars in the safe. He was shocked; they were really bold to be putting so much cash in the pawnshop.
In America, businesses were often targets for robberies, as they usually had large amounts of cash or important documents stored in them.
Although he did not want to be nosy, since they were both Chinese, he could not help but remind them. "Theres a bank just next door. Better to put the money in the bank, so as to minimize the risk."
The youth smiled. "Thanks for the reminder but were not afraid. Not all Chinese can be bullied so easily."
As Hans stretched out his hand to take the money, the youth pressed his index finger on the notes, still smiling. "Friend, this is a genuine Rolls-Royce umbrella right?"
Hans nodded. "Yes, its really a genuine Rolls-Royce umbrellano issues at all."
The youth stared at him. "It can withstand hurricane-like winds?"
The youth nodded, then he released his finger and said, "Were going somewhere with powerful wind. If this umbrella doesnt stand up to it, then well seek you out when we get back."
Li Du saw that Hanss normal confidence had been suppressed and so stepped in. "It can withstand very high wind speeds, as Rolls-Royce states in their publicity materials. We haven't tested it but we can guarantee that this is an original Rolls-Royce umbrella from the car."
With the exchange of money and item done, they got ready to leave. Old Song blocked them and looked at Big Quinn. "Buddy, are you interested in letting go of this bayonet?"
Compared to the average-sized but monstrous-looking Old Song, Big Quinns appearance was not as threatening.
Under Old Songs hostile glare, Big Quinn glanced at Li Du awkwardly. "This is my bosss bayonet."
Old Song turned to Li Du. "Give me this bayonet. Ill give you another 10,000 dollars."
The youth, who was scrutinizing the umbrella, said, "Old Song, this bayonets not worth 10,000 dollarsits not even worth 10,000 renminbi."
"This is a butcher," Old Song explained, "and one in good condition. Its raredefinitely worth 10,000 renminbi."
Li Du was curious. "Is this bayonet very valuable?"
He now knew that when Old Song had said "butcher" earlier, he was referring to the bayonets name. He had thought Old Song was shocked by Big Quinns appearance and had meant that he looked like a butcher.
Old Song said, "The butcher is the type of bayonet that the German army produced the most of during World War I. Its actually not that valuable, but you have preserved it well."
Li Du had not done any research on this bayonet and had thought it was just a regular model. He had passed it to Big Quinn to intimidate people withit had not occurred to him that this bayonet would have come with such a rich history.
Seeing his reaction, Old Song asked, "You didnt know its identity?"
Li Du shook his head. "Can you provide an introduction?"
Old Song chuckled, "This bayonets nickname is the butcher. Its actual name is the M98/05. It was used by the German army during the First World War.
"This bayonet was designed to replace the bigger and heavier M98/02 bayonet, which was initially used to replace the M1898, which was not suitable for warfare as its blade was too long.
"The designs of both the M98/02 and the M98/05 were based on the needs of World War I, as tools for soldiers to construct and dig trenches..."
Old Song looked up at them and laughed when he saw their blank faces. "Looks like Ive shared too muchthis information is not of much use."
Compared to two earlier versions, the butcher was more suited for warfare and killing. Its nickname was given by the allied soldiers, as it was too powerful a weapon.
"There were two types of butchers, the difference lies in the blades: one has a regular blade, while the other has a sawback blade. Yours has the sawback blade, right?"
Li Du nodded and motioned for Big Quinn to pull out the bayonet, revealing its ferocious-looking blade.
Old Song took it in his hands. "If it didnt have a sawback blade, then it wouldnt even be worth 1,000 renminbi. But since it does, its worth 10,000 US dollars."