When the torch went out below, we retreated to a relatively safe place and Fatty told me about what happened to him when he was young.
Actually, he wasn’t particularly young at that time. Fatty spoke very briefly, and I can only repeat what he said.
At that time, he had just started to work alone and had made several small deals. They weren’t tomb-robbing jobs but antique deals. After parting ways with his former henchmen, he lived a luxurious and extravagant life, spending almost all of his money on split fees when the partnership broke up. These small deals made up for his deficit and restored his confidence, making him feel that it was no big deal to work alone. So, he decided to gamble and put out the word that he wanted to take on some big deals.
At that time, he thought it was too dangerous to go tomb-robbing. Even though it wasn’t the same, there was plenty of room to advance if he could make money by dumping antiques. Maybe he could even start a listed company or something in the future. At that time, everyone in the industry knew that he had some money so many bad characters came to his door. One of them in particular showed him a photo of a Qing Dynasty tusi’s boat.
It was very strange in that it was a complete boat, but rather than a funerary object, it seemed to be a family heirloom. It didn’t have any markings to show that it had been buried in the mud so it must have been placed in someone’s home. It had been painted by a very skilled painter, so although the paint had almost completely worn off, one could tell that gold and large red patterns had been used. This showed that it must have been some kind of decoration, but the size and workmanship were that of a real ship.
Fatty looked at a lot of the photos and found something strange—all of them only captured the bottom rather than the inside of the boat. When he asked about it, the other party prevaricated for a long time before revealing that this wasn’t a single boat but two boats nailed together. Even though there seemed to be something inside of it, they dared not open it. Instead, they’d rather just sell it directly.
Fatty was very daring at that time and bought it, figuring that there must be treasure inside of it. But it was a solitary product so ordinary antique dealers wouldn’t dare accept it, and without the next buyer set up, it would probably rot in his hands. So, Fatty took it and put it in a local warehouse without bothering to take care of it. He later felt suspicious when he found that the seller had disappeared minutes after receiving the money so he took a train, went to the warehouse, and found that the goods had actually been delivered. But the two boats weren’t sealed together at all. In fact, the middle part had already cracked open and a corpse’s hand with long fingernails was sticking out of it, looking much like a bird’s claw.
Fatty had some experience and dared not move it, knowing that he was involved in something big. When he returned to Beijing, he still didn’t know how to fix it, but news of the incident slowly spread after he got drunk and blabbed about it. Not long after, someone reached out and asked about it. Fatty initially refused to admit anything, but later, the other party directly said that he was willing to buy it at what Fatty considered to be an astronomical price at the time.
Of course, it would be good if someone could take it off of his hands, so Fatty agreed to the deal without asking the other party for an advance payment. He simply asked them to take that thing away first. At the time, he didn’t expect to receive so much money but the full amount finally arrived in his bank account.
After that, Fatty went to clean up the warehouse and saw that the other party had not only moved that thing out but also done a lot of other things beforehand. He saw countless piles of white sand on the ground and asked the old man in the warehouse what happened. The old man told him that those people came with trucks and unloaded a whole bunch of iron chains.
Fatty told me that this was a precursor and that he didn’t take it to heart at that time. It wasn’t until a long time later that he suddenly realized what he had sold.
<Chapter 86><Table of Contents><Chapter 88>