Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
Knowing Hans’s intention, Li Du felt amused and wanted to keep calling. In fact, if he did not call, Hans would certainly call him back. Hans could not keep his secret and was always trying to show off. That was why he had been calling the other day. However, Li Du did not want to not call, because he had not answered Hans several times last week. He figured he shouldn’t give Hans a hard time now.
He was about to try to call again when old Elson came by. Elson was busier than Li Du was these days, and though they spent more time together, they actually communicated less.
Over a cup of Sophie’s coffee, Elson said, “Steve’s in great shape. He’s ok. I’m going to meet him in Sydney.”
Li Du breathed a sigh of relief and said, “That is really good news.”
Elson said, “He’s been a bit depressed lately. To be honest, Li, Steve is really serious about this trip. He was trying to find some gems with his own hands.”
“I can tell he’s a determined guy,” said Li Du.
“Watching Steve recuperate, he is definitely not suited for the hard physical work of mining. His heart can’t take on too much,” Elson lamented. “I came to say goodbye to you. Steve and I have been a lot of trouble,” said Elson.
“That’s very kind of you, but where is the trouble? I don’t see it,” said Li Du.
Elson laughed and said, “Steve and I have to thank you and apologize for the trouble we have caused you, and I have a gift for you before we leave.” It was normal for Americans to exchange gifts, and Li Du also had a gift for Steve. He winked at Sophie, who knew what he meant. She took out a beautifully wrapped box from her desk drawer. The box contained the half polished black opal. It was exquisite and raw.
Elson also took out his gift, which was a package of documents that included land use certificates and mine real estate certificates.
Seeing these certificates, Li Du asked, “This is?”
“This is Steve’s order. He felt pitiful that he could not dig for the gems himself, so he is giving you this mine,” said Elson.
“Is he asking me to help him take care of the house?” Li Du asked tentatively.
Elson smiled, waved, and said, “No, he is giving you this mine.”
Surprised, Li Du said, “God, these mines are worth millions of dollars.”
Elson replied, “We owe you more than a million dollars. Besides, is $10,000,000 a lot?”
Elson had given Li Du all the licenses along with the number 120 mine that he had bid on in the auction. Li Du tried to decline, but Elson stopped him by saying, “This is Master Steve’s arrangement. I’m just the clerk. If you want to refuse, please talk to him in person.”
Hearing Elson use the term “Master Steve,” Li Du was too embarrassed to say anything. Clearly, Elson was talking about status, meaning he had to follow orders. So, after a lot of red tape, Li Du became the owner of the surrounding mines. Together with the other two mines, he now owned 16 mines and was already a mine landlord in Lightning Ridge.
After he sent Elson off, he looked at the papers for a long time. Sophie came over and patted him on the shoulder. She smiled at him and said, “What’s so nice about these things?”
Li Du said, “You are the landlady, you know?”
Sophie asked, “What? Landlady?”
Li Du explained to her the gift Steve had given them, and that they were now landlord and landlady. Indeed, Li Du had become a landowner with not much more than 300 acres of land. After all, farms and ranches in Australia were tens of thousands of acres. But this wasn’t a farm or a ranch. This was a mine, a gem mine that could generate millions of dollars if it had a good vein.
Li Du wanted like to thank Blanchett and Lennon in person for helping him get the mines. Their potentially deadly act helped him make a big fortune.
Li Du was happy for a while and then thought about the taxes he would pay later.
He was wondering if he wanted to immigrate to Australia, where he now had real estate and land.
While he was thinking about it, the phone rang again, and when he saw that it was Hans, he was dumbfounded.
“Good god. You are a patient man,” said Hans despondently.
Li Du said, “Don’t hurry, let me talk first. You absolutely won’t guess what just happened…” He explained briefly about the mines. Hans did not speak for a while. Li Du asked, “Hey, man, are you still there?”
After asking this question several times, Hans replied weakly, “Yes, I am. Lord, how did you come across such a good thing? A multi-million dollar mine giveaway? I’m so jealous!”
Li Du said, “What did you get there? You must have caught quite a few black gold abalones this time and made a lot of money?”
Australia had few full-year black gold abalone harvesting licenses. However, Li Du’s group had one in their possession, so they could make a lot of money harvesting year round. After all, black gold abalone were not currently in season in Australia and New Zealand. There was no new black gold abalone on the market. The demand was higher, and they could definitely sell it at a higher price.
Sure enough, Hans was pleased to answer Li Du’s question. “Ah, it’s all right. Lord God bless us, now we are making a lot of money”
Li Du didn’t care about the benefits of black gold abalone. He wanted to know what was going on with the pictures of black opal that Hans had sent him. If the picture was correct, it was possible that there was a new vein of black opal, because opal was a gem that did not exist alone. The same was true of fire opal. The entire national park was an opal vein, the largest opal vein in the world.
However, as a result of Li Du mentioning black gold abalone, Hans had a steady stream of things to say, and Li Du never had a chance to get a word in edgewise. Li Du had to quietly listen as Hans explained about the black gold abalone market, and that he and the sea woman had achieved a brilliant record.
It was not easy to wait for him to finish. Li Du looked at the time, and boy, they had talked for an hour!