It didnt cost him a single penny to get the carriage; Hans was content.
Li Du shook his head. "Buddy, its not good to take advantage of people," he said.
Hanss mouth twitched. "Are you saying that I love to take advantage of people? That someone who donates half of his income to a welfare home and an orphanage loves to take advantage of people? "
Li Du was speechless.
Indeed, Hans supported Mother Mesas on his own.
The welfare home had established an orphanage so that the children were taken good care of, and the majority of funds were donated by Hans.
Hans didnt only donate to Mother Mesas. When he earned more than usual, he even donated money to other welfare institutions. Li Du was truly impressed him.
Li Du was stingy when it came to charity. He would not donate unless he thought he would gain something from it. Hed established the charity auction to punish those who had wronged him.
With the last light ray of sunlight falling from the horizon, the auctioneer Sayder appeared. He raised his arm, shouting, "Welcome to Hoffmans auction. I am your favorite old friend, Sayder."
As usual, a chorus of "boos" rang out from the audience.
Standing outside the crowd and hearing the boos, Li Du laughed, "This guy is interesting. Why does he still lead off like this when he already knows he will be booed?"
Hans crossed his arms. "This is part of the auction, kind of like the introduction. Actually, people dont hate him; they catcall for fun."
While they were chatting, an old white man, probably over sixty, walked in front of them. He said, "Good evening, gentlemen. You are the Big Li and Big Fox? "
Li Du looked at him in surprise. "Yes, good evening. What can we help you with?"
"I am the mayor of Highland Town. You can call me Steve Jordan. Nice to meet you two."
"Highland Town is a town around Flagstaff," Hans whispered to Li Du. "An old town with one or two hundred households."
Li Du nodded and looked at the old man.
The old man continued, "I have no idea if you have ever been to Highland Town. It is a beautiful place; the people around there are nice too."
"I have been there," Hans said. "The serving concept of Farm To Table is remarkable. The green tomatoes, corn, bacon and finger-licking roasted chicken are delicious."
Jordan smiled. "Thanks. Since you have been there, you will know that our town has many old wooden buildings."
Hans continued to nod his head.
Jordan said, "Old wooden buildings are flammable. We have to fireproof in precaution and be ready to put out fires anytime.
"But, the fire truck has a problem: its not working anymore, and we have to buy a new one. Unfortunately, we dont have enough money."
Many cars in the USA were affordable. The car models of special vehicles were expensive: A brand new fire truck cost at least 100,000 dollars.
"I saw your fire extinguisher; it must have been disassembled from a firetruck. Do you have more?" Jordan asked.
"It has not been sold yet," Li Du said. "It will soon appear at the auction."
Jordan forced a bitter smile. "Do you have more than this one? The price of a fire extinguisher may not be very low in an auction. We dont have that much money to buy it."
Hans said, "Not necessaryhow much money do you have?"
"About 2,000 dollars," Jordan said.
Hans spread his hands, faced Li Du and shrugged. The money was not enough. The starting price was far more than that; the bidding price would be at least 5,000 dollars.
Jordan sighed, "So, I would like to ask if you have one more? If you do, I would like to give it a try to have an installment."
"Mayor Jordan, I hope your town is not as poor as this," Li Du smiled bitterly.
"The autumn harvest season hasnt arrived yet. After autumn harvest, our financial status will be stable."
Hans whispered in his ear, "The economy of Highland Town is underdeveloped. Most of the people there dont have much money."
Looking at the outfit of Mayor Jordan, Li Du could tell that the people there were poor.
He asked, "Does your neighboring town have a fire truck? Do you get any funds from the state government or Washington? "
"No, theres no funding from either of them, and the closest town to us is 25 miles away. Im afraid we are not in a convenient enough position to share a fire truck." Mayor Jordan looked helpless.
After considering, Li Du asked, "Can I retract my things on the auction block?"
"Yes," Hans answered, "but you must have a good reason. If not, the auction house will be unwilling to cooperate with us in the future."
"Theres no better reason," Li Du said. "A town needs fire extinguishers, and we have one. I want to donate it to them. "
Hans emphasized, "Donate?"
Li Du answered, "Yes, I want to donate it to them. This fire extinguisher belongs to a fire truck. It should go where it belongs. "
"Good idea. I will talk to the auction house."
Jordan looked astonished. "Gentlemen, are you serious about this?"
Li Du replied, "Yes. If the fire extinguisher can serve its purpose, Im willing to let it perform its responsibility."
He had won a free carriage today; so, he gave something to others in return.
He had also made this decision for another reason. In his opinion, donating the fire extinguisher was much more useful than earning a few thousand dollars.
He didnt need that money; he needed a good reputation. The news of him donating the fire extinguisher to Highland Town could earn him a better reputation among treasure hunters once the news had spread.
After Hans spoke with the auction house officials, someone went up and whispered something to Sayder. Sayder nodded his head, and the auction went on.
When it was the fire extinguishers turn, Sayder shouted, "I know most of you guys were looking forward to the fire extinguisher. But, Im sorry. I apologize but"
After hearing this, the audience shouted their displeasure.
"Dont tell me youre not selling it!"
"Someone bought it for a crazy price?"
"I bet there never was a fire extinguisher. The auction house was just making a fuss to attract people."
After hearing this, Li Du understood why auction houses didnt normally allow people to retract items from the auction: this could damage their image.