Faced with Kellans doubt, Li Du was not bothered in the slightest. He smiled, "Its simple. I can pay you a deposit. Because my goal is your storage company, I dont want it to get into trouble."
The police officer whispered to Kellan, "Bro, I dont see a problem. He really does want to take over your company."
Kellan asked, "You sure?"
"Of course," replied the police officer. "Ive seen a lot of d*mned criminals and Ive been trained in various interrogation techniques. This Chinaman is telling the truth."
Kellan nodded. He didnt trust Li Du but he trusted the American dollar. As long as Li Du was willing to pay a deposit, he would be willing to return the ill-gotten money.
He cleared his throat said, "Okay, I believe you, Li. Lets talk about the deposit, how much do you think it should be?"
Li Du asked, "What do you say?"
Kellan took a sip of the beer and said, "How about 40,000 dollars? Youve seen it for yourself, the area of my company is not smallit is at least worth 400,000 dollars. A deposit of only 40,000 dollars is already very little."
Li Du smiled contemptuously. This man is really greedy! So he thinks he can just ask for any price he wants?
Although a 10 percent deposit sounded reasonable, this shabby company was not worth 400,000 dollars. It was not like there was an oil field or a coal mine underneath it.
Li Du shook his head. "No, this price is too high. Ill offer 20,000 dollars, its just a deposit."
"Yes, its just a deposit. If the deal goes through later on, this sum of money will go towards your payment anyway40,000 dollars doesnt affect anything," Kellan used an enticing tone to persuade Li. "Im a forthright man. I like to do business with forthright people..."
Li Du refused for a second time and shouted for Hans to come back into the office so he could take over the negotiation on the price. In this regard he could not agree with Kellan.
Hans was a negotiation expert and haggling for prices was his forte. The final outcome was 25,000 dollars.
Kellan waited to receive the money while Li Du glanced at Hans meaningfully, then said, "Write a check for Mr. Pratt."
Kellan raised his hands after hearing this. "Wait a minute, both of youyou said a check?"
Check transactions were common in the United States, but it was only common in major cities. It was rare to see people dealing in checks in remote and rural areas, especially in a small town like Derta, where there was only one bank in town. People there hardly used checks. Not only that, the people there actually engaged in barter trade as well. Many towns in northern and western Arizona were like that.
Despite the fact that major cities used checks frequently in their business dealings, most of them only used checks when they were familiar with each other. It was risky to accept checks for people dealing with each other for the first time.
After all, checks were riskier as they were more prone to fraud than cash. Even if the check was valid, there might also be certain restrictions imposed upon cashing in, and one might end up ultimately not being able to receive the money.
Li Du nodded his head as he listened to Kellans query. "Yeah, a check. You cant expect us to carry so much cash with us, right?"
The corners of Kellans mouth had turned down. "How about an electronic funds transfer?"
Li Du took out his Nokia phone and showed it to Kellan. "Sorry pal. My phones malfunctioned and unable to install any applications right now. I cant use electronic funds transfer."
Kellan said, "I have a computer here."
Li shook his head again. "Let me be frank with you, I do not trust the Internet. I will not access my bank account via the Internet. What if my account information got stolen by hackers?"
"Yeah," Hans said, "the d*mn banks wont compensate you for the loss. They might even collude with the hackers to get our money. These b*st*rd capitalists are black-hearted!"
"How can it be?" said Kellan in disbelief. "Electronic fund transfers are very safe."
Li Du refused to budge and shook his head firmly. "No, it is absolutely unsafe. The Internets too dangerous, all the Chinese know that electronic funds transfers are a no-no!"
The police officer exchanged looks with Kellan and whispered, "Thats true. The Chinese dont trust the banks cards and electronic bank accounts. They like to use cash and thieves now like to target the Chinese."
Kellan had seen such news before. The police in big cities like Phoenix, LA, and San Francisco had been appealing to the Chinese residents to use as little cash as possible.
After communicating with his cousin, Kellan muttered, "These stupid Chinese people are so silly, so foolish. Serves them right for living in a feudal country."
In the end Kellan had to accept the deposit by check. Hans took out a checkbook, wrote 25,000 dollars, and handed it to Kellan.
Kellan checked the name of the bank on the check and verified the information of the account holder. Everything was fine and he accepted the check in a reluctant manner.
He kept the check and took out a stack of American dollars from his drawer. He seemed unwilling to part with the money. "After deducting the costs, we split the profit of 8,255 dollars where I got a 60 percent share and they got 40 percent. This is my share of 4,930 dollars."
Li Du raised his eyebrows upon hearing that. He had thought both parties would split the profit in half but Kellan had actually taken a 60 percent share. This man is truly a greedy devil, he thought.
But then again, Frank, York and Rick just wanted to sow discord between the treasure hunters and Li Dumaybe they would have even accepted a 30 percent share. They were not in need of money; they were, at least, not bothered by a few thousand dollars.
Li Du and Hans took the money and left. Then they told the group of treasure hunters to quickly go through the storage units and take away items that were somewhat valuable then leave the place.
Turis said, "But we havent cleared the unit."
"Why bother? Just let the company clean these up themselves. They cheated all of you, they need to be punished."
Olly explained, "No, pal, if we dont clear up the unit, we might get reported to the Association and wont be able to participate in storage auctions for a while."
"Dont worry," Li Du sneered, "the storage company plotted a scam, they wont dare to report all of you to the Association. Even if they did so, do you think the association would bother?"
As he spoke, he took out the money that Kellan had returned. "I managed to get some money back, treat it as a lesson learned. Well go back and split the money."
Everyone was glad to see the green dollar bills.
"We can get some money back? God, is this true?"
"Simply unbelievable! Those evil b*st*rds found their conscience?"
"Wonderful, simply wonderful, how much did we get back? We can reduce some losses now!"
Nobody cared about the trash still lying inside the storage unit. The convoy of trucks lined up and left in a whizz.
When Kellan went to inspect the units later, he saw the amount of trash was practically left untouched in the units. He was displeased and took out his phone to call Li Du to come back and clean up the units. Otherwise, he would lodge a complaint with the Association.
However, when he made the call, the other party over the phone said there wasnt any Li Du or Hans Fox and hung up the phone.
Kellan smelled a rat and called up again.
This time the other party got really angry and berated him. And if Kellan were to prank call him again, he would report it to the police.
Kellan got flustered. He drove to the nearest Wells Fargo bank at a neighboring town. Derta only had one bank: Citibank, which was unable to verify or cash in the check.
The teller at the Wells Fargo bank inspected the check and said, "Im sorry sir, this check cannot be cashed in as the account has already been frozen due to the owners credit issues."
Kellan went dizzy for a moment. An unsuppressed amount of anger flew through his brain. He flew into a rage and roared, "F*ck you! F*ck you! This is impossible! It cant be true!"
A big, muscular bank security guard immediately rushed toward him and dragged him away.