They began work in the evening.
It was mainly Hans, Big Quinn, Lu Guan, and Godzilla working while Li Du stood at the side providing assistance. Compared to Americans, a pure Chinese person like him was not adept at doing this kind of manual labor.
The men's secret hideout, which sounded very amazing, was in fact household electric appliances placed on a constructed iron stand that was strong and light and had four wheels installed at the bottom.
They brought back quite a few brand new household electronic appliances from Las Vegas. Even though the household appliances were not yet opened, they would still be considered secondhand goods if sold to a general store.
However, once placed onto the iron stand and complemented with relevant certificates, they could be sold as new.
With a group of people working, the job was completed very quickly. They finished constructing the main body of the secret hideout using iron tubes and iron sheets, leaving only the painting to be done.
Li Du asked, "What color for the paint? I'll paint it."
Hans was also unable to decide and said, "What color do you guys think is suitable?"
"Gold?" Lu Guan guessed. "How's gold? Seems very stylish."
"White then," Big Quinn said. "White looks relaxing."
Victoria, who had been assisting Li Du, gently pulled his hand and whispered, "Why paint it? It would be great to stick a layer of wallpaper on it. Will it be better to use a log pattern wallpaper where the empty squares can also be used to place some plants?"
After hearing her words, Li Du and the others nodded their heads in succession, agreeing that this idea was even better.
Moreover, using wallpaper made the stand look even more stylish.
With the sky turning dark, Li Du wanted to send Victoria back.
Victoria lowered her head, not wanting to leave and not saying anything. She didn't move, keeping her head lowered while holding her tiny school bag and sitting still at the door of the small house.
"What's the matter?" Li Du asked.
She did not say anything and gave him the silent treatment.
Li Du sat helplessly next to her. "What's the matter with you? Don't you have something you want to say? What's the matter? Has Wonder Woman become a small gourd?"
Victoria pouted her lips and looked depressed.
"Can't you tell?" Hans asked. "Victoria doesn't want to go back."
Li Du was already able to tell but what could he do? Victoria was registered at the welfare home and had to go back at night.
Victoria finally opened her mouth after hearing Hans's words. She timidly said, "You have a tent here. Can you let me sleep in the tent? I want to sleep here."
Li Du shook his head. "This won't do. You have to go back. Mother Mesa will be worried and your little friends will miss you."
The little girl looked sorrowfully toward the sunset in the west and said, "I don't have any little friends. They don't like playing with me."
Li Du continued to try and persuade her. At this moment, Hans stopped him and gave Mesa a call. "Old mother, Victoria is staying here with us tonight and won't be going back. You don't have to worry."
Earlier in the day, they had sent a message to Mother Mesa. Hearing now that Victoria was unwilling to come back for bed, Mother Mesa said, "She cannot, Hans. Tell her that mother misses her greatly. Make her come back. Mother can sleep with her tonight."
"She's not willing to," Hans responded. "This child lacks love. Let her stay here, she is pretty happy with us. Unless you don't trust me and Li Du and think that we're some despicable people who are a threat to Victoria."
Mother Mesa smiled. "You know I don't think that. I know you guys are good fellas. However, if Victoria stays outside, what about the other children?"
Hans was shameless. "That's for you to wrack your brains over, haha, I don't care. Alright, let Victoria and Li Du's pets hang out a while longer."
Mother Mesa still refused. After giving this some thought, Li Du took the phone. "Mother Mesa, it's Li, I would like Victoria to stay here with us. We will prepare a room for her, a room by herself."
The African American lady laughed bitterly. "Li, it's not that I don't trust you guys but it's the welfare home rules. The children must do things according to the rules."
"I understand," Li Du said, "but Victoria needs special attention. Truth be told, she has psychological problemswhich you might have known about. I am thinking, if she stays longer with my pets, she won't feel lonely and be happy. This might be helpful to her."
Hearing his words, Mother Mesa was silent.
After some consideration, she said, "This child indeed has psychological problems that are in urgent need of solving. Hopefully, you guys can help her. I had thought of hiring a psychologist for her, but hopefully you guys can understand that our financial situation is very dire."
Li Du was very understanding. Mother Mesa not only needed to look after the children, the welfare home also had some elderly folks and people with physical and mental disabilities.
After hanging up the phone, he told Victoria, "Alright, little tail, you can stay here with us in the future."
Godzilla waved to her. "The biggest bedroom inside will be yours."
The little girl immediately smiledthe first time she had smiled all day.
The next day he brought Victoria around the surrounding forest. They picked some wild fruits and vegetables while Ah Meow and Ah Ow worked together to catch two wild rabbits and a wild chicken, which they ate for lunch.
In the evening, Li Du brought along a Narwhal's tooth in preparation to meet Mr. and Mrs. Martin.
Victoria helped him stick a layer of pale yellow wallpaper, with a brown wood grain pattern on the bottom, around the box. This made the box look so much more beautiful.
If Victoria hadn't been so young, Li Du would have really wanted to hire her as his little assistant. The little girl had great judgment, was diligent, sharp, and was well adored by many.
She cleaned the house when there was no work to be done during her stay here today. By the time Li Du and the others found out, the small house was already clean.
Li Du drove over to the hospital to pick up Sophie. After giving her a hug and a kiss, he asked, "Hey darling, how are you feeling today?"
"Very good," Sophie replied. "It's just that it was a little busy as the scaffolding of a construction site toppled over and we carried out emergency treatment on four poor people who were injured by it."
Li Du started driving. While stepping on the gas and driving toward the suburban highway, he asked about the construction workers' injuries.
While driving along the road, where they were miles away from anywhere, a motorcycle suddenly drove at them. With a swing of the driver's hand, something knocked onto the car window with a smack.
Li Du was shocked and quickly hit the brakes while activating the wipers at the same time.
It would have been better without the wipers. With a spray of water, the car window was immediately fuming and turned cloudy.
"D*mn it, what's going on?" Li Du pushed the car door open and went over to check out the situation.
At this moment, a group of people wearing helmets, which obscured their faces, charged at the car from both sides on motorcycles.
Li Du unconsciously recalled the kidnapping case from not long ago and thought to himself, I can't be so unlucky. I was just kidnapped in Las Vegas and now I'm about to be kidnapped after returning to Flagstaff? I can't be this unlucky!
. . .
A man shook Sophie's hand in a rather uncomfortable manner and said, "Yes, Wolfgang Muller."
Sophie responded, "Thank you so much. If you had not nobly come to our help, we would have been in trouble today."
The man said lightly, "A few gangsters, nothing much. I should be the one thanking you. Thank you for helping me treat my daughter's leg."
Sophie thoughtfully asked, "How's Ivana's leg? If she still feels pain, you must bring her to see me."
The man nodded. "It's okaymuch better."
He did not say much and was a little like Godzilla: not speaking much unless explanations were necessary.
Toward the end, Sophie said a few words of gratitude again. As the man still had things to do, he left after hearing that Sophie called the police since it meant that these people were no longer a threat.
After they had finished talking, he turned around and walked toward his car, not at all sloppy and in a straightforward manner.
Li Du was dumbfounded. Throughout the whole exchange, the man did not even look at him once, as if he was air.
As he was rather curious about the man, he asked, "What's the guy's name? Wolf?"
He seemed to have heard the man introduce himself earlier as "Wo er fu'' whereby the English pronunciation of it was "wolf." As Sophie was learning Mandarin, she was able to understand a little and used Mandarin to translate his name.
Sophie smiled. "No, it's 'Wo er fu Gang mu lei.' German. I treated his daughter leg fracture. I did not expect to receive his help today."
A police car came roaring over. In the meantime, a few of the helmet-wearing men were lying on the ground and not getting up as Wolfgang had hit them very hard. Seeing the police arriving, some of them wanted to run. In the end, after getting up and staggering twice, they fell back onto the ground
When two policemen came down from the car, Li Du sighed. "Darling, give your parents a call and tell them that we may have to cancel the appointment againor that we'll at least get there late."