Not mincing her words, the woman replied, "A librarian bought this beautiful house, while a salesman like you could only afford some run-down house."
Chalmers sniggered, "I knew that my uncle would give this house to me, so I bought a run-down house. You know, I've gotta fork out money to pay the inheritance tax."
As he spoke, he grumbled discontentedly, "D*mn the IRS. They're merciless! They collected the money that took me a few years to save just like that!"
The woman didn't want to hear his complaining and rummaged in the cabinet to retrieve a bunch of keys. She threw them at him and said, "What're you actually planning to do?"
Chalmers blinked at her. "I'm planning to earn some money."
He opened the storage unit. There really was a furniture set comprising of a table and some chairs in there.
The furniture was an antique style with intricate striking lines on its top. Not knowing what material it was, Chalmers stretched his hand out to touch it. He thought it felt sturdy.
Staring at this set of furniture, Chalmers stroked his chin as he pondered.
Now, he was feeling a little regretful about having chased that treasure hunter away so soon; he should have kept him for a while longer to gather more information such as the value of the furniture.
However, he had a cousin who was also a treasure hunter. And according to what he knew, his cousin was a pretty good treasure hunter; it was just that he had recently offended the mafia and had to lie low.
He was unable to gauge the value of the furniture, but he believed that his cousin would be able to.
But he didn't want his cousin to know that he had this set of furniture. He knew that his cousin owed the casino a huge sum of money and wanted a loan from him.
At this point, it occurred to him that if his cousin had known that he had valuable furniture for sale, he would encourage him to sell it off so that he could borrow the money.
Chalmers didn't want this to happen, but he wanted to know the value of the furniturehe was stuck in a dilemma.
After wiping the furniture, he locked the storage unit and was about to head home to figure out how to ascertain the value of the furniture.
At this moment, a Ford pickup truck drove up. The man who got out of the truck waved at him. "Hey buddy, good afternoon."
Chalmers nodded as he said, "Good afternoon. Is anything the matter?"
The man stretched his hand out and said, "I would like to check something with you. I'm Dickens. Someone spoke to you earlier, right? Can you tell me what you were talking about?"
Chalmers smiled. "Oh, I'm afraid this would be an intrusion of privacy. I don't think it would be appropriate for me to say anything."
Dickens took his wallet out and pulled out a 100-dollar bill before saying, "Do me this favor. I won't let you help me out for nothing."
Looking at the money, Chalmers chuckled. He took the bill happily and said, "The guy who came just now was a treasure hunter. He 'd seen a table and some chairs set in my storage unit . . . "
At this point, he came to a sudden realization: Dickens was driving a pick-up truck and wore a cowboy outfit with a flashlight dangling from his waist. There were also some old-looking items in the truckwas this not the get-up of the typical treasure hunter?
Hence, he asked, "Are you a treasure hunter too?"
Dickens smiled. "Yes, I'm also a treasure hunter. Please continue. What table and chairs set did he see just now?"
Seeing that Dickens looked quite trustworthy, Chalmers thought about it and then said, "Come with me, I won't let you waste your 100 dollars. I'll show you what he was interested in."
Dickens was thrilled. "They're yours?"
"Yes," Chalmers replied somewhat cockily. "The four storage units here belong to me."
These storage units had actually been erected illegally. According to the requirement as stipulated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the open spaces surrounding residences were for gardens or lawns and meant for the public.
However, as this neighborhood was further away from the highway, and the surrounding roads were considered remote, no one had noticed or bothered to deal with it. A few families had also built garages or storage units on their empty spaces.
After Chalmers had opened the storage unit for Dickens to see the table and chairs inside, his eyes lit up. He cried out, "Antique-styled table and chairs! Is it a full set? Then this stuff's pretty valuable."
These words made Chalmers's eyes light up as well, and he was about to ask how much it was worth when Dickens beat him to it. "Buddy, how much did that chap from earlier offer you?"
Chalmers felt morose. He had not taken the next step to ask about the value before telling the guy to leave; he was unable to name the offer.
However, as he was an outstanding businessman, he reacted quickly to ask, "Oh, how much do you think he was willing to pay? How much are you willing to pay?"
"That dude's stingy," Dickens replied. "He'd probably offer 2,000 dollars, tops. If it were me, I could offer 2,200 dollars. How about it? Sell it to me?"
Hearing the offer, Chalmers's heart leaped in his chest: 2,200 dollars was not much, but it was not a little. His monthly pay was only about 4,000 dollars and this could cover more than half of that.
Composing himself, he replied in a casual manner, "2,200 dollars? Ha, this offer's a little too low. I'm aware of its actual value."
Dickens said, "This is its actual value. If you want to sell it at a higher price, you'll have to organize a storage auction to entice many people to come and bid, or else . . . Ahem, but you can't organize an auction."
He was eloquent in the first part of his statement until he reached the last part, when he realized that he had said something that he shouldn't have. A vexed expression came across his face.
Chalmers noticed this, and upon hearing Dickens's words, an idea sprouted in his mind. He said, "Your guess is correct. I'm thinking of organizing a storage auction."
"Where are you going to find the treasure hunters to come for the auction?" Dickens replied, a hint of panic in his voice. "Also, you only have one storage unit. Most of them won't come."
"You forget: I have more than one storage unit," Chalmers asked smugly. "My family has four storage units. I will contact the neighborsthey will definitely have storage units to sell."
Dickens replied, "But your units may not be valuable. Treasure hunters aren't dumb. They won't make casual offers. Why don't you sell the furniture here to me? I'll give you a good price. How about 2,400 dollars?"
Chalmers shook his head. Dickens said, "Then 2,500 dollars? Don't be too greedy, no one will bid higher than this! Besides, it must be a complete set to be worth this amountif there's a chair missing, it won't even fetch 2,000 dollars!"
Hearing the offer increase by 300 dollars within such a short span of time, Chalmers was even more determined not to sell the storage unit but to conduct a storage auction instead.
He patted Dickens's shoulder and said, "Thank you for your offer, but I've decided to organize a storage auction."
Dickens looked glum. "Two thousand six hundred dollars? Deal?"
Chalmers shook his head resolutely. "No, buddy. If you're interested, then you can participate in the auction I'm organizing. I look forward to your attendance, and also welcome you to bring your friends along."