Hans, Li Du, and friends had not expected Maurice to get a cannonball and were hence, shocked.
They thought Maurice was getting too excited and had lost control of himself. If he were to really fire the cannonball, none of them would get away with it: they would be spending a long time in prison.
Their reactions amused Maurice. He cackled loudly and said, "For God’s sake, the real 17-caliber mortar shell weighs 100 pounds. Do you think my staff member is carrying something that weighs 100 pounds?"
The employee explained, "This is just an empty shell—just the outer layer."
Li Du heaved a sigh of relief. Now that he had just begun to lead a wonderful life, he did not want to be thrown in jail.
Maurice used the empty shell to measure the caliber of the barrel. He opened the breechblock behind and stuffed the empty shell in, and gave the shell loader a kick.
Click! A sound was heard—that meant the empty shell had been loaded into the barrel.
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