Old Songs words shocked Li Du, as he did not think that this bayonet would be worth so much money.
Compared to a trench mortar worth half a million dollars, the price of 10,000 dollars might have seemed low. For a regular bayonet to be able to fetch this amount, it was indeed a rare occurrence.
Old Song continued, "The sawback blade was not for killing enemies but to be worn by officers. Sawback blades were known as a symbol of authority in Germany. That is to say, this bayonet is more of a ceremonial weapon than one for practical use.
"However, at that time, the Germans had the best steel-forging technology. The bayonets were so well-made that they were ideal not just for killing, but also for hacking.
"This is because when the tip of such a sawback blade is pointing forward, the front of the blade can bring about more force, and can even hack something as thick as a willow trees trunk."
As he said that, he took up the bayonet and made a hacking motion by swinging his arms downward.
It was easy to distinguish the experts from the amateursthe way in which Old Song waved the bayonet might have looked simple but his wrist was steady and forceful, with lightning quick speed.
The bayonets blade flashed in the air, and except for Li Du, no one else had a clear look.
The butchers with sawback blades were originally supplied to the engineer troops, but after the proliferation of the more specialized equipment like spades, axes, and saws, the bayonets were later reserved to be worn by military officers.
Because there were few officers, the number of butchers with sawback blades produced was reduced to about 5 percent of the total amount. Many of the bayonets created were without sawback blades.
That was why this bayonet was so costlyit was due to its rarity.
In addition to the low production numbers, many of these bayonets had been damaged. During World War I, both Britain and Frances propaganda agencies constantly portrayed the power of the German sawback blade bayonets and the terrible wounds they caused negatively, equating the "inhumaneness" of such weapons with the atrocities of their users.
With such negative publicity, even the German soldiers had started to believe this statement. Therefore, the French soldiers had announced that they would kill all German prisoners who were found to have used such bayonets by "giving them a taste of their own medicine."
In order to stabilize the morale, the German officers and men on the frontlines started to switch to using ordinary bayonets, or sawback blades that they had polished into smooth blades instead.
After World War I ended, Germany became a defeated nation. This type of terrifying bayonet, along with large-caliber cannons, were seized by the Allies.
As a result, the number of butchers with sawback blades in circulation dwindled. The appearance of this bayonet in America now could be the result of an American soldier having seized it from a German officer as a spoil of war during World War I.
Old Song had fancied this bayonet as it had been well-maintained. Having survived for almost a century, it was still gleaming with sharp edges, which made it highly collectible.
Li Du glanced at Hans, who shook his head and whispered, "Dont sell it."
Hence, Li Du shook his head. "Sorry, we dont wish to sell this bayonet."
Old Song sighed. His fingers then swung the bayonet in two smooth rotations on the palm of his hand, displaying his nifty knife skills.
After the bayonet had stopped turning, he passed it to Li Du. "We share the same ancestors, so I'm not keen to make a move on you. If it were an American who had brought this bayonet into the shop, I wouldnt have given a d*mnthe bayonet would have to stay. "
Old Song and the youth were overbearing. Li Du did not like the way they conducted themselves, and left after he got the bayonet back.
Once out of The Tang Dynasty Chamber of Abundance, Hans sighed and said, "We shall keep our distance from now on. God, those men were not lovable at all."
Li Du said, "How not lovable? Look at the no-nonsense manner in which my fellow countrymen conducted their business: no bargaining and immediate payment."
This deal had puzzled himwhat were they buying the umbrella for? And to be actually willing to pay 10,000 dollars for it was also strange.
Hans said, "Both of them were scary. I dont want to deal with these kinds of people again. I hope theres no problem with the umbrella. I have a feeling that if theres any issues with the umbrella, well have issues too."
With that, he made the sign of the cross over his chest.
"Whats so scary?" Li Du laughed at him. "You're such a coward."
Hans sneered, "Just now, when that 10,000 dollars was on the table, that Tang pressed it down with only one finger and I couldnt even move it with my whole hand! Do you know why I didnt want you to sell the bayonet?"
He glanced around and then answered himself: "With the bayonet in hand, Big Quinn could still provide some form of defense. If we didnt have any weapons, I'm afraid that they would have gotten rid of us!"
This was a little exaggerated. Li Du felt that the youth Tang and middle-aged Old Song were neither violent people, nor trouble-makers.
Regardless, this trip to Los Angeles had gone very well, with the hood ornament and umbrella selling for 40,000 dollars. In addition, they had also learned the real identity of the bayonet.
Back at the hotel, Hans was having fun fiddling with the bayonet.
Li Du knew the real reason he had stopped him from selling the bayonet: not because he had wanted the weapon for protection, but because he liked it.
So before going to sleep, he threw the bayonet over to Hans and said, "Its for you."
Hans stared at him. "Huh?"
Li Du said, "Since you like it, its for you. Lets not sell this bayonet."
Embarrassed, Hans teased, "How could I?"
"Because you like it."
Hans dawdled; he did like the bayonet a lot. However, he felt that, throughout their partnership, he had often taken advantage of Li.
He had not been able to save up moneyit was mostly donated, or spent. Twice, Li Du had paid for the teams car. Both Godzilla and Big Quinns salaries were also paid by Li Du.
Occasionally, when he encountered something he liked at the auctions, Li Du would give it to him directly, like the limited-edition pistol and now the bayonet. Looking back, he felt that he had taken advantage of the situation.
Li Du did not quite care, howeverin actual fact, he had much more than Hans.
For example, the Patek Philippe wristwatchHans was still unaware that he had taken their most valuable asset.
And the Gaddafi dagger that no one but themselves knew about. Based on Li Dus estimate, it was the only thing they had come across that could be more valuable than the Patek Philippe watch!
Li Du cared most about the little bugs ability to detach itselfthat ability was more important than any item they had found. He felt nonchalant about money, as there were many ways for him to make moneymany more ways for him than there were for Hans.
Since they were in LA, they would definitely check if there were any suitable storage auctions going on.
The next day Hans was fiddling with his computer in bed, saying, "LA is really a metropolisthere are so many storage auctions here."
Interest piqued, Li Du asked, "How many?"
Hans said, "There are two storage companies having auctions today. In a few days, ah, there will be more than a dozen storage companies going up for auction."
Li Du was taken abackit would be considered lucky for Flagstaff, including the surrounding areas, to even have a single storage company have an auction every seven days. And here, more than a dozen storage companies were up for auction within a weekit was simply astounding news.
Looking at his surprised expression, Hans waved his hand and said, "Dont be so surprised, buddy. There are thousands of storage units up for auction throughout the country every day. How big is LAs portion?"