Li Du, Hans and the old man bowed and hugged each other. Then, they went straight to the point and talked about business.
The old man was smarter than the big guy. He grabbed the hunting guns and checked them one by one. He found flaws on each hunting gun.
He obviously wanted to bargain.
Hans's forte in bargaining came in handy. He started to argue with the old man, using different strategies and reasonings. He seemed very confident.
They knew what to expect because the big guy had told them before: they could trade one hunting gun for ten of the hunting knives.
So, Hans insisted that this was the bottom line. No matter how smart the old man was, he couldn't change anything about it.
On the contrary, after they argued and debated, the bottom line was raised instead.
During the negotiation, they used one shotgun as a unit. Hans's bottom line was to trade one shotgun for ten ordinary hunting knives or four sets of double knives.
As some of the hunting guns were in better condition, Hans negotiated for more hunting knives. So this resulted in some guns being worth 14 knives at the most, and 10 knives at the very least.
This was Hans's job. Li Du went to see how the others were doing. The Hopi were a big tribe with almost 20,000 people. They had many different weapons, including their hunting knives.
The treasure hunters felt like they had entered a market in heaven. They were inspired by Li Du. They opened up their trucks as well and let the Native Americans choose what they wanted. Hunting knives had sort of become a currencyanything could be traded for the hunting knives.
The most popular item of trade were their smartphones. Most of the Hopis used old-fashioned phones, and so they were attracted by this modern piece of technology. The colorful touch-screen phones with many different features were a novelty to them.
The treasure hunters removed their sim cards and traded their phones for hunting knives.
Li Du gathered everyone together when he saw everyone trading their mobile phones away. "Now that we don't have our phones with us, we can't contact each other conveniently. We have to stick closely together so no one will be left behind or lost when we leave this place."
Olly said, "There's no need for that, Big Li. Why not fix a timefor example, four o' clock in the afternoon. Everyone can gather at the school at four o' clock. What do you think?"
"Can't work for me," Dickens shook his head, "I can't tell the time now."
Olly exclaimed, "Where's your watch?"
Dickens replied, "Well, I traded it for hunting knives."
"Sh*t!" Olly took off his watch immediately. "I forgot about this!"
Hans had finished negotiating. He traded 10 shotguns for 25 sets of double knives and 50 pieces of ordinary hunting knives.
Godzilla and Big Quinn put the knives into the truck. The security chief was impressed when he saw them working, "Hey, you two strong fellas. Are you two interested in staying here?"
Li Du chimed in immediately, "President Lincoln emancipated the slaves. There are no more slaves now. The two of them are not tradeable."
The security chief said, "I know. Haha, I would like to invite them to stay. They can choose among our tribe's beautiful women. They would definitely make great warriors!"
Big Quinn shook his head. "Sorry, I'm married and have children."
The security chief looked disappointed and then turned to Godzilla.
Godzilla shook his head vigorously. Are you kidding me? Do you have any beauties in your tribe? They're ugly! And this matter has nothing to do with beauty! thought Godzilla.
After getting hold of the guns, the old man invited them to his house.
Li Du realized that it was getting late. He told Hans, "I think we shouldn't go. Look, if we spend more time here, we can't go home today."
Hans said, "What's wrong with that? You want to go fishing at Lake Powell, right? You can do that tomorrow."
After he heard their discussion, the old man laughed, "Yes, my friends. Please stay here tonight. The three mesas are having kavalala tonight. Please join us."
Li Du asked, "What's the celebration like?"
Hans thought about it. "I think it's like a party for the Hopi. It's quite grand and it's usually held to welcome friends, welcome people like us. It's very interesting."
If that were the case, then Li Du wanted to stay. He'd never experienced a Hopi celebration before, and thought it might be a good opportunity to gain some knowledge.
They followed the old man into a spacious cottage. It was the security chief's house and looked quite stylish on the inside. There were many weapons hanging in the house, such as hunting knives, shotguns, bows and arrows, and there was a machine gun that looked like it was still in perfect working condition.
Other than the weapons, there was a big, long wooden box in the middle of the house. There were some weapons carved on the surface of the box, such as wooden knives, wooden swords, and wooden guns.
Li Du asked curiously, "What is this? Is this a weapon box? It looks beautiful. The weapons are engraved onto the box, right?"
Hans looked at the box and put his hand on his forehead. He groaned in displeasure, "Sh*t, my head must be fuddled with sh*t. How can I forget about this?"
"What's wrong?" Li Du asked. "Acting crazy again?"
The old man laughed, "This is not a weapons box. You won't be able to guess what this is."
"This is a coffin you prepared for yourself!" Hans exclaimed.
Li Du was shocked when he heard this. For this was not something good to bring up!
However the old man smiled. "You're very knowledgeable, young man. You're right, this is a coffin I prepared for myself. I didn't expect that you know about this."
Hans said, "I've watched a documentary called 'Home.' The director, Yann Arthus and his team visited your tribe before. The documentary showed a lot about your culture. One of the cultural practices they covered is called 'coffin culture.'"
"Home" was a documentary film which had taken 15 years to prepare. The filming process took 18 months. The team visited 54 countries, 118 areas and 120 filming locations. It was very impressive.
After he heard this, the old man reminisced, "Yann Arthus-Bertrand, I still remember his name. He's an interesting French guy. Yes, he came to our tribe and documented a lot about us. He even gave us a DVD of the documentary."
Hans whispered to Li Du, "I've overlooked it. But you can't blame me. Who can remember all the contents of a documentary film?"
Li Du was confused. "What are you talking about?"
"The most unique cultural aspect of the Hopi: the coffin culture! We should trade our guns for the coffins. Their coffins are very valuable. We can make a lot of money if we sell their coffins! "
Li Du was shocked. "You're creative, do you want to start a casket company?"
"F*ck you. I only want to resell the coffins. Anyway, let's play it by ear later. If we have any valuable things left, let's trade them for coffins!"
"Are they really valuable?"
"One coffin costs more than 10,000 dollars!"
Li Du gasped, "These are coffins that bring prosperity!"
They were really valuable. America was different than China in that they still bury the dead in the ground. A wake would be held in a church after a person died, and then the coffin would be buried in the burial plot.
The interesting part was that burial plots were like pieces of property to Americans. Like houses and cars, after they bought a burial plot, they could let their family member use it. They bought and sold burial plots as if it were a real estate businessthey even had property agents for burial plots.
Under these circumstances, the coffin business was very lucrativejust like any other furniture business.