The group of treasure hunters went to the auction early in the morning. There were around 20 to 30 people in the storage companys parking lot.
In the storage auction industry, Derta was a place with no fame, and nothing valuable had ever been found there.
Hence, whenever there was an auction in Derta, only Flagstaffs treasure hunters would attend. Treasure hunters from other places did not bother to come.
Everyone got out of their trucks. The atmosphere was relaxed as they all knew each other.
They greeted and exchanged information with one another. Very soon, the auctioneer arrived. The storage company opened the door and the auction was about to start.
The first unit was opened for viewing; the cowhide near the entrance and the cattle skulls that were placed on some shelves appeared before the treasure hunters.
The group of them immediately started talking amongst themselves. Olly turned to Dickens and said, "Hey, my good pal, both of you really did get some insider information. Where did you get that from?"
Dickens and Big Beard Carl proudly held their heads high. They became the focus of the group of treasure hunters. Every now and then, a few treasure hunters would come up quietly and exchange information with them.
The auctioneer pointed at the unit and said, "Everyone knows the rules, as everyones experienced here, so lets start the bidding. The starting bid price is 200 dollars, 200 dollars, 200 dollars..."
Dickens whistled and said, "Me!"
"Okay this fella here bid 200 dollars, 200 dollars, 200 dollars..."
Someone else made a bid: "300 dollars."
Olly said, "350 dollars!"
"Alright 350 dollars, 350 dollars, 350 dollars, how about a higher bid at 400 dollars, 400 dollars, 400 dollars "
Another treasure hunter nodded and said, "Okay, 400 dollars."
"Alright 400 dollars, 400 dollars, 400 dollars, how about taking a bigger step, 500 dollars, 500 dollars, 500 dollars anyone?"
"Yeah, 500 dollars!" Big Beard Carl cried.
The bid price steadily increased until it reached 800 dollars.
At this time, a voice came from behind the crowd: "1,000 dollars!"
The treasure hunters turned to look. Dickens smiled wryly. "Woah, its Dog Ears."
Olly crossed his arms and added, "Well, he is called "Dog Ears" for a reason. Hes got a wide network afterallhe must have heard some news too."
There was a big piece of cowhide that was rolled up near the entrance. There was another roll further inside the unit, which looked like cowhide as well. The cowhide itself could be worth 2,000 to 3,000 dollars. Not to mention there were also the cattle skulls that could be used as decoration as well.
Dickens and Big Beard Carl glanced at each other and the latter nodded. Dickens shouted, "1,100 dollars!"
Dog Ears threw an icy glare at him and said, "1,500 dollars!"
The auctioneer revealed a joyous smile and said hastily, "1,500 dollars, 1,500 dollars, 1,500 dollars is the current price and I want to ask for 1,600 dollars, anyone?"
Dickens and Big Beard Carl spoke in a low voice and finally nodded at the auctioneer. "Okay!"
Rick did not make any more bids. He made two scornful snorts and walked toward the next storage unit.
The auctioneer pointed at Dickens and Big Beard, shouting, "1,600 dollars, 1,600 dollars, 1,600 dollars, anyone bidding a higher price? If not, 1,600 dollars once "
The auctioneer called the price three times; the deal was sealed.
The two of them fist-bumped each other excitedly. Olly laughed, "1,600 dollars for this stuff? How much could do you think its worth?"
Dickens replied, "I dont mind even if I only make enough to cover my trip here and back."
The treasure hunters made a commotion when the second unit was opened for viewing. They saw a steel beast that looked well-maintainedin a condition of eight out of teninside the storage unit:
"Look, thats a Ford tractor."
"Thats the reason why were here."
"D*mn, its going to be a bloody battle. Pals, the battles starting!"
Agricultural vehicles, such as this, were expensive. The Ford tractor seemed well-maintained. From its appearance, it looked like it would work once the tank was filled.
A new tractor could be worth tens of thousands of dollars. A well-maintained second-hand tractor could only sell for 5,000 to 6,000 dollars.
When the bidding started, the auctioneer shouted a starting bid price of 1,000 dollars. Rick immediately shouted, "2,000 dollars," which effectively doubled the price.
The treasure hunters looked at him in dissatisfaction. But there was nothing they could dowhoever had the money called the shots.
Moreover, the price of 2,000 dollars was still acceptable to the treasure hunters. Olly raised his hand and yelled, "2,100 dollars!"
The auctioneer need not start his auction chant as everyone placed their bids enthusiastically. The price increased rapidly from 2,000 to 2,800 dollars.
Rick increased the bid price again by shouting a price of 3,000 dollars.
Olly seemed bent on getting the tractor. He followed up with another bid: "3,100 dollars!"
"Three thousand five hundred dollars!" said an expressionless Rick.
Many treasure hunters backed off, shaking their heads, for nobody knew about the exact condition of the tractor; the price of 3,500 dollars was considered risky.
If the tractor could work perfectly, 3,500 dollars would be a reasonable sum. They could get a profit of around 2,000 dollars by selling it.
If it had problemsespecially if the engine had problemsthen it would be a loss.
Dickens also wanted to bid, but Big Beard Carl shook his head. "Why would someone leave a good, working tractor inside a storage unit? I dont want to risk it. Besides, we already got a unit."
Ricks mouth twitched; his upper lip curled in contempt and he commented in a low voice, "Bunch of paupers!"
Olly gritted his teeth and said, "Me, 3,600 dollars!"
Ricks facial expression changed when he heard Ollys bid. He backed off and said, "Very well, idiot, youre rich!"
The auctioneer shouted three times; no one else placed their bid. Olly got the unit with the tractor.
Dickens turned to him and gave him a friendly warning: "Pal, be careful. If this tractors problematic, youre going to make a loss."
Olly however, was very confident. "I used to have a tractor like this at home. This is a Ford XX25. Im sure it is working fineIm very familiar with it!"
When the third unit was opened, it revealed some agricultural machines. There was the rotary tiller, seeder machine, reaper machine, and quite some other complex machines.
The group of them began another bidding battle. The unit was won by a treasure hunter named Nigel at a price of 4,000 dollars.
The fourth unit contained quite some boxes with different sizes. Through the cracks and openings of the boxes, everyone saw different things.
The bidding was still fierce, with the starting bid at 100 dollars and an increase to 2,000 dollars in a short period of time. Just as the bid price started to stabilize, Rick made a bid of 2,500 dollars and the price jumped up to 2,800 dollars, ultimately won by another treasure hunter.
The fifth unit also contained boxes. Turis whispered to his partner, "Lets get this, did you see whats inside?"
"What is it?"
"Theres a gun box! A Winchester gun box. I know because I have a friend who has an old gun and it looks just like this. The guns worth a five-digit sum!"
Turis calmly made his bid and followed it all the way until he got the unit at a price of 2,500 dollars.
Everyone saw a bunch of machinery again when the sixth unit was opened.
Some treasure hunters started to feel like something was amiss. "My fellow pals, I never knew that Derta was such a rich town? Arent we supposed to be in a simple town with few resources? Why do I feel like Im in the wealthy city of New York?"
The others also felt that something was not quite right. "Youre right. Why does every unit seem so worthwhile?"