When the grilled apples were served straight off the grill, Li Du couldn’t stop himself after his first bite.
Earlier, when Hans had shown such excitement upon hearing Hannah say that she was going to make grilled apples, Li Du thought that he had been faking his excitement at least a little. But now that he’d tasted them, he too was full of praise.
Hearing his praises, Hans said proudly, "Of course, Hannah is really good at making grilled apples. All the women in our Fox family have this skill. If you marry Hannah, then the women in your Li family will have it too."
Li Du carried on as if he hadn’t heard the last part of Hans’ speech and gave Hannah a thumbs up, saying, "Amazing."
The apples had been grilled until they were warm and soft, and the concoction of brown sugar and butter had soaked into the flesh of the apple; it had the aroma of butter, the sweetness of brown sugar, the stickiness of honey, and the delicious taste of fresh fruit.
With all that, the apples took on a completely different flavor. Not the simple taste of apples, but a delicious dessert that Li Du had never tasted before.
Having enjoyed the food and finished their work, the day ended as a fulfilling one.
After that, they had to sell off the tableware and the set of furniture. This was Hans’s job.
On the afternoon of March second, Hans brought Li Du to Papa Smith’s General Store once again. This was the store where they had sold off the massage chair.
When they arrived there were already some customers inside buying stuff. The boss, Kevin, waved at them in greeting, and then tended to his own affairs.
The two made a trip around the store, unable to spot the Kasrrow massage chair. Li Du said, "I bet that the chair’s been sold!"
"Is that even worth betting on?" Hans asked. "It was sold half a month ago."
Half an hour later, the boss, Kevin, having finished tending to the customers, walked over to them cheerily. "Hey Hans, what good stuff did you bring this time?"
Hans shot a look at Li Du, who opened the briefcase, displaying the clean, polished sterling silver dining plates and cutlery.
Seeing the set of dinnerware, Kevin’s eyes lit up. He picked up a dining plate and caressed it, then said, "This is at least 95 percent silver!"
Hans’ face was full of awe. "You really are a connoisseur, Uncle Kevin. You’re amazing, not just being able to tell the material but even the grade! With just one look! Li, isn’t my Uncle Kevin simply amazing?"
"It is simply amazing!" Li Du, in cahoots with Hans, made a similar expression of awe.
Kevin was more than 60 years old, and had long passed the stage of life where vanity was of the utmost importance. He scoffed, "Enough with your ‘amazing’. You’ve gotten a lot better at flattery ever since you went off to Phoenix for a few years. Of course I can tell. The logo of the Holiday family is here. Their silver grade is all 950 and above."
Hans smiled bashfully. "I was being honest. It’s remarkable that you can even recognize the Holiday logo. Some people don’t recognize good stuff when they see it, or even think that we faked the logo."
Kevin cocked an eyebrow. "That is possible. Knowing you, I’d say you’re quite capable of doing such a thing."
Hans was displeased. He pulled out his VIP card from the Association of American Auction Hunters and said, "That was an insult to me and the association!"
Kevin just waved a hand and laughed. "Fine. You know I trust you. So, tell me, how much do you want?"
"How about 5,000 dollars?" Hans asked.
Kevin pushed the dinnerware towards them. "Take it away then. I could buy a new set for 5,000."
Hans started to pack up the dinnerware, saying, "Alright then, you can go buy a new set. I’m gonna look for Old Nix. He’s sure to be interested in this silverware."
Kevin ‘s mouth twitched in contempt and he leaned against the counter to watch him pack.
Having stored the silverware and dishes properly away, the two men walked towards the door.
Li Du murmured, "Boss Fox, your price really was a bit too high."
"Don’t talk," Hans replied. "He’ll stop us."
Just as his voice dropped, Kevin coughed from behind them. "Come back you rascal, you sly little weasel. Give me your actual price."
"5,000 dollars is my actual price," Hans said. "Last time, when I sold the massage chair to you, you just turned around and sold it for 11,000 dollars- earning 5,000 dollars just like that. You can earn just as much this time!"
Kevin said, "The massage chair was worth that much only because I fixed it. This set of tableware won’t bring that much profit. Considering the friendship between Felix and me, I’ll give you 2,000 dollars."
"That’s an insult to the friendship between you and my father. Four-thousand five-hundred dollars. That’s more worthy of it," Hans said.
"Let’s not bring Felix into this. Two-thousand five-hundred dollars. That’s not a low price."
The two engaged in a tug-of-war over the price while next to them Li Du listened with interest. After a while, the price was stuck at 3,800 dollars. This price really wasn’t bad, and actually a little higher than Li Du had expected. He’d thought that being able to sell it at 3,000 dollars was already a great deal.
Old Kevin, however, was still trying to cut the price down to 3,600 dollars.
"Three-thousand six-hundred dollars is alright," Hans finally said. "It’s going to be lunchtime soon. Why don’t you treat us to some lamb like last time?"
"Then I will still end up paying you 3,800 dollars," the old man sighed, but took up the price anyways. "You win, young fellas."
The storage unit they’d bought at 300 dollars had sold for 4,300—including some other stuff that Hans had sold for 500, they’d made a total of 4,300 dollars this time.
Old Kevin counted out the cash for them and kept the tableware, then said, "If there’s anything else as good as this, bring it to me also. "
Hans chuckled, saying, "I actually do have something good."
Old Kevin’s eyes lit up again.
However, after looking at the set of furniture, he shook his head. "I won’t take this. It’s not easy to sell furniture like this. Go to that son of a b*tch Nix’s place and see."
"Why would they be hard to sell?" Hans asked. "I admit, these aren’t a set, but they look like one— and the quality is good. Don’t you think that they’re great?"
"They are great. But who are you going to sell them to?" Old Kevin asked, still shaking his head.
"If I take and sell this, I’d need to sell it for at least 5,000 dollars. But the people who can afford that kind of price won’t be interested in buying something that isn’t a set —those who are willing to, well, probably wouldn’t have that kind of money."
Li Du thought that this was just an excuse to bring down the price, but Hans didn’t push the sale. "Then keep the pictures," Hans said, "and help me see whether there are any buyers. With a ten percent commission fee, just like old times."
When they left this time, the old man didn’t stop them.
They then went to two other general stores and two secondhand furniture shops. The furniture still remained in the booth.
Either they were unwilling to take it, like Old Kevin, or the price was too low. The fellow called Old Nix actually offered them an unbelievably low price of only 1,000 dollars!
After being taken around, the set of furniture was towed back. Li Du wasn’t frustrated as they had still sold something that day. Neither was Hans, as he had gotten information on another storage auction.