Storage unit 114 was very messy. There were a few shoe boxes in the doorway, which were opened to reveal all sorts of things.
Small toys, a palm sized Bible, a wind-proof lighter, handmade little boxes; these were just some of the things Li Du found within the shoe boxes. He separated them according to type and placed them at the doorway.
Seeing this, the people gathered around the entrance shook their heads.
"Dont be like that, mate. Remember the golden rule of treasure hunting; always look for the most valuable thing first."
"Do you really need to separate the trash? Just put it in a bag and tie it up. It belongs in the trashcan."
"This crap is too gross, even for the trash."
Li Du took out a large box. Opening it, there were piles of cards. They were made of hard plastic and each piece had been protected by a transparent, plastic card sleeve.
There were a lot of cards, a few hundred of them. Carefully, he took them out and placed them tidily on the passenger seat of the truck.
The treasure hunters on the sidelines jeered: "What treasures are those?"
Someone went up to take a look. Picking one up, he shook his head. "This stuff isnt valuable. Its just a hotel key card.
Hans nodded to Li Du. "Its true. Key cards arent worth much."
Li Du asked, "Isnt there a key card collecting market in America?"
Hans shrugged and said, "There is a market, but its very small. Theyre not rare. Unless its a key card to the White House or something."
Li Du shook his head. "Theres no key card to the White House here. "
"Then this is just a pile of trash," said Dalton, who was there for his own entertainment.
Li Du smiled but didnt say a word. He just carried on, concentrating on his work.
The crowd that gathered around him grew bored and left, one by one, to where Andrew was.
Having opened the storage, Andrew lifted his chin and said, "Bring that stuff out for me. Be careful. Do you see that case? Be very careful with it. Actually, Ill take it out myself." Because of his status, he no longer had to do any of the physical labor. He hired large, buff workers to clear out storage for him. All he had to do was evaluate the value of the items recovered.
A blue case in a pile of white styrofoam boxes was brought over. He opened the box and pulled out a guitar of the same color.
The guitar was magnificent, with a smooth, streamlined shape. The blue lacquer was exquisitethe rays of the setting sun fell on it, scattering shimmers and glimmers of light.
The most wondrous part was that, as Andrew slowly turned the guitar over, the blue shimmered and danced like the purest of waves.
At this, the treasure hunters eyes lit up. Gazes containing all sorts of wonder and amazement focused on the guitar. A whole group gathered, their jealousy and envy obvious.
Reginald, his eyes blazing, cried out, "Shit shit shit! Dont tell me that thats a Fender electric guitar! A Fender Lake Placid Blue Electric Guitar!"
Hearing the name, startled cries came from the crowd.
"My God, it cant be. That is a Fender Lake Placid Blue?"
"For real? This place actually hid a treasure like that?"
"A member of the Hundred Thousand Club is definitely made of the right stuff. I did say the noob would get trashed!"
Their storage units werent far apart. Hans heard the news and rushed over.
Li Du remained indifferent and continued to clear his storage area. There was no one else now. He walked straight to a box in the middle and took a belt out of it.
The belt had been made of the best cowhide, but looked old and worn. Li Du wiped it clean with some cotton cloth. It looked brand new after he wiped it down.
After a while, Hans came back swearing. "That son of a bitchs luck isnt bad at all. He actually got a Fender Lake Placid Blue! Damn it, no wonder he bid 5,000 dollars, no wonder!"
Li Du asked, "What is a Fender Lake Placid Blue?"
"An electric guitar. Do you know Fender Guitars? If jazz, country, and rock music are the cake of Americas music industry, then Fender Guitars are the icing on top," Hans explained. "Lake Placid Blue is one of the finest products made by Fender Guitars. Made in the Corona factory in California, it uses only the best parts for its fretboard, strings, and accessories. From the HD Audio Equipment to the mixer, it has very high value."
Li Du didnt know what he was talking about right away. When he had seen the blue guitar he wasnt able to tell what kind it was, neither was he been able to find out about the net price.
Hans told him how much the guitar was worth: "A new Fender Lake Placid Blue costs 50,000 dollars. The guitar he got is in great condition. Selling it for 30,000 dollars definitely wont be a problem."
"Thirty thousand dollars?" Li Du asked. "Thats quite a sum."
Hans was dismayed. "Damn it, were done for! Mate, I cant help but blame you. How could you slip up? Your familys Ancestral Secret Art of Prospecting couldnt tell the value of that storage?"
Li Du smiled bitterly. "My Ancestral Secret Art of Prospecting isnt foolproof. I told you that the first day. But never mind that now, we might not lose."
They carried on clearing things out, but the stuff in the storage was all worthless. There wasnt even trash in there. Hans became more and more gloomy. He saw no hope of winning.
A crowd of treasure hunters stood by the doorway, waiting to watch the fun. Both the storage units were finally cleared out before the sun set. Andrew led the crowd over, holding his head high.
"Hey, you noobs. Come here, let me look at what youve gotten your hands on," he said ostentatiously.
The crowd hissed. The fat man who was beaten by Hans during the auction for unit 15 jeered. "They got a pile of dog shit," the fat man said. "Or maybe even some womens diapers. Dont look, Andrew, it will scar you for life."
Andrew humphed. "I had no intentions of looking anyway. No need to show everything youve found, you idiots. Come over here and take a look at my guitar. It can sell for 30,000 dollars. What did you get?"
Dalton shook his head, saying, "They cant compare. The most valuable thing they have is that lawnmower, which may be able to sell for 500 dollars."
"Challenging a member of the Hundred Thousand Club, they finally got what was coming to them.
"If I were them, I would pull down the storage door, hide inside, and only come out at midnight."
"Wouldnt that make them mice? Should I call you China Mouse?"
Hans became furious. Pointing at the last person who spoke, he yelled, "Hey, kid, stop your bullshit! Dont insult my brother or Ill beat you till all your teeth break, so you wont be able to chew on your wifes toenails anymore!"
Impatiently, Andrew said, "Dont change the topic, kid. I asked you: What do you have to compare to my electric guitar?"
Hans was speechless. Li Du took a belt out from a paper box. "How about this?"
The belt was the one he had found earlier. An eagle had been carved on the silver-white belt buckle. The eagle faced towards the right, its wings outstretched, and a swastika clutched between its claws.
He displayed the belt. Having looked closer at the belt, Hans eyes lit up. "Hey! Is that a Nazi belt?"