Li Du went around the old goods market and bought a bunch of strange, eccentric items.
Quite a few treasure hunters were watching him and were trying to see what items he had bought.
Li Du ultimately bought a variety of items such as a calligraphy vase, necklace, bracelet, jewelry and a few unusual handicrafts.
After a short period of observation, the treasure hunters were unable to find any clues. Noticing that he did not seem to have gotten anything valuable, the number of people observing him gradually decreased.
In the evening, Li Du joined up with Hans and the others before going to the old goods trading market.
Compared to his previous visit, there were changes made to the old goods trading market such as doubling the area of the central auction block by temporarily expanding its surroundings.
In addition, there was a small auction block set up not far away, which was instead converted to a bar table. It was where Blacktooth Robbie and the others were drinking and chatting.
Although it was still early in the day, the parking lot was already filled with cars. The whole auction house was very hectic, with people unloading and loading items.
Seeing Li Du and Hans arrive, Robbie and the others waved. "Hey Boss Li, Boss Fox, come over and have a drink."
Li Du walked over and said, "You guys aren't planning to drive tonight? I saw policemen checking cars on the road. You guys can't meet them with the smell of alcohol on your breath, right?"
Robbie said in an unconcerned manner, "There are still six hours from now 'til we leave, Boss Li, six hours. Even if we are dead drunk, we will still be able to sober up by that time."
Hans took a glass of beer and drank it before saying, "You're right, Blacktooth. Damn it, this beer is really good, who brought this?"
A red-nosed youngster smiled. "I brought it. I traded two tires for a barrel of beer brewed by the nearby farmers. The taste is good, right?"
"You have made a good deal. Unless you used sport car tires, this barrel of beer is definitely worth the two tires," Hans said while pointing at him.
The George brothers, whom Li Du had dealings with at the market, also arrived. Wright George, who was carrying a bag of fried fish, fried meat and jerky, threw the bag down and said, "Eat whatever you like."
Drinking mouthfuls of beer and eating big pieces of meat, Li Du felt that such a life was pretty good as well.
With many people and mouths, the bunch of them finished drinking the beer before night came.
At that moment, auctioneer Sayder came out and prepared to host the auction. After seeing Li Du and the others, he took the initiative to go over and greet them. He promised, "Your goods are very popular. I will definitely get high prices for you guys."
Li Du bumped fists with him and smiled. "Thanks a lot, mate."
Sayder inquired again, "How did you guys deal with the cigar boxes? I have made some money recently. As you know, my business here has been good lately. If you guys still have the cigar boxes, I would like to buy one."
Hans, who was in charge of this matter, said, "The two cigar boxes you want are both in my storage unit. Bring a check and come find me. If you help me sell for a good price tonight, I will give you a discount tomorrow."
Sayder was delighted. He bumped his fist on Hans's chest and said, "Alright, watch me. I will let you guys experience my prowess."
With the sun setting and the lights gradually turning on, the auction was about the start.
By this time, the auction house was bustling with people. There were at least 200 to 300 people in the auction house surrounding the auction blocks. The front of both the auction blocks was filled with people.
Li Du looked at the small auction block next to him and asked, "What is this for?"
Hans replied, "It's for auctioning farm products like flour, rice, oil-bearing crops, seafood, meat and non-staple food."
Li Du was interested and asked, "There's an auction for those items?"
Hans nodded. "Of course. It's autumn now. When spring comes, you will see seeds and young animals being auctioned as well."
The last daylight disappeared and the iodine-tungsten lamps were all lit up.
At this moment, Sayder jumped onto the auction block, raised a loudspeaker and shouted loudly, "Welcome everyone to Hoffman's auction house, where the goods are varied and the prices fair. I, who am honest to both young and old here, your old friend, the most revered and the most reputable, white glove wearing, Sayder"
"Boo Boo!" A few familiar people in the audience booed and pointed their middle fingers at him as usual.
Sayder grinned and continued hosting the auction. "Alright, I know everyone did not come here to listen to me nag or waste energy standing around. I shall get to the point then. Bring out the first item to be auctioned"
Two youngsters came out, pushing an iron stand. Li Du smiled after seeing it. Isn't that theirs? Who knew Sayder would use that as the opening item for the auction?
"I dare say, of all the men here, there's more than 100 who came specifically for this. This is our men's secret hideout! Everyone here who has a family should know very well that many a time, when your wives are being unreasonable, you need a private space to calm yourself down."
Sayder began introducing the item. After a quick round of introduction that attracted the crowd's interest, he started shouting the bid. "This great item won't be cheap. Its starting bid will be 5,000 dollars. It will belong to a man deserving of it. Just like a mermaid deserving of a strong person, good items are prepared for the rich"
With that, the bidding had begun. There were indeed many people who were very interested in the item.
The two youngsters demonstrated the item on the auction block while people below were watching and shouting bids:
"Six thousand dollars. I will pay 6,000 dollars!"
The bid immediately rose by 1,000 dollars.
"Six thousand five hundred dollars!"
The second bid was as boisterous.
The bids were increasing rapidly. After 10 bids, the value of the men's secret hideout had reached Li Du's and Hans's expected price of 10,000 dollars.
At this price, the bidding became less competitive. Only four or five people were still bidding.
Among them was a middle age man with a curled golden mustache, who was very determined. When someone bid 10,500 dollars, he immediately shouted, "Eleven thousand dollars."
"Eleven thousand two hundred dollars!"
"Fifteen thousand dollars!" The middle age man with golden mustache bellowed.
The people around him were all shocked and moved back one after another when he bid the amount. The other few still interested in the secret hideout were all shaking their heads and giving up.
Li Du was also very shocked. This man's bid was too much!
After shouting out his bid, the man with the golden mustache was a little stunned. He looked at the competitors who were moving back and smiled bitterly. "I bid the wrong amount. Can I still change it now? I wanted to bid 11,500 dollars."
All of a sudden, there was a burst of laughter all around.
Bidding the wrong amount was a very common occurrence at auctions. As auctioneers shouted bids very quickly, people would at times carelessly say the wrong amounts when bidding.
Under such circumstances, the bids could not be altered unless the bidder was dishonest and did not pay up after. Otherwise, the bidder could only blame himself for being careless.
Sayder was unconcerned with him bidding wrongly and decisively waved his hand. "Fifteen thousand dollars going once. Fifteen thousand dollars going twice. Fifteen thousand dollars sold. Mate, let me see your bidder number. This great item is yours!"