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3. The mysterious bidder at the auction.

Oey Tambah was a teenager who got a great treasure trove without ever working at all. Apparently the  treasure shook his teenage soul. After the death of his father he showed bad attitude more than ever. He did not intend to continue his father's trading business. Moreover, the ambition to become a community leader, who according to his understanding only became the slaves of others.

His habit of wasting his father's money became a myth to his contemporaries. He always cleaned himself with sheets of paper money after a great celebration at Toko Tiga River in front of his house. No wonder that every morning there was a bloody fight between the people fighting over the banknotes on the river.

The exhibition or the fortunes happen again one day at the auction site. A Dutch member of the Indies Council will return to his country. According to the custom of the times, his furniture were auctioned. Bidders generally consisted of their friends, acquaintances or relations. They deliberately bid higher than the actual price, with the intention of giving just traveling fund to the concerned. The auction of high-ranking officer’s items received great attention from the Batavia Chinese community, especially its leaders.

In the auction was offered a mirrored dressing table. Major Tan Eng Goan offered him f 100, a price already above the market. He was amazed that anyone dared to bid double. For the sake of prestige he raised his bid, to f 300. Apparently the unpopular bidder was willing to pay f 500. Tan was curious to find the person, but could not discover him.

Then it was auctioned a beautiful carved wooden writing desk. Starting with fifty guilders, the offer price of the goods continues to increase to two thousand. Apparently the hidden bidder was in action again. Tan Eng Goan was hurt feelings, because it seemed to be challenged again. He raised his offer to f 5,000. But apparently the mysterious bidder who delivered his offer in secret to the auctioneer did have unlimited funds. Tan gave up when the price reached ten thousand. The audiences were amazed at the emergence of the mysterious bidder. Apparently he deliberately wanted to impose the dignity of the Chinese community leader in public.

Tan was growled trying to find out  the buyer who covered his identity. The auctioneer would not reveal it. Finally Tan managed to get information that Oey Tambah who played behind the scenes. This leader grew furious and vengeful, but he still tried to restrain himself. He recalled his good relationship with the father of Tambahsia. He refused to take any action when his colleagues in the Chinese Council urged him to revenge the cocky youth. Tan Eng Goan instead sent a personal messenger to try to persuade Tambahsia to change his attitude and behavior. He even offered the vacant position of luitenant der Chinezen after the death of Oey's father. Tambahsia refused it.

Patekoan Street
Patekoan Street