"Think about it, Wash." Mal certainly wasn't helping to ease Wash's confusion with this subject at all, and before Wash can ask again why a heavy metal crate was thrown onto the rear of their mule at the last minute, the precious coin inside the large lined container, a man exited the door of his office -- Trading Post And General Supply -- and waved while leaning on his cane.
"Collins!" Mal greets warmly. "How's the wife?"
"Don't get me started, Reynolds," Collins growls, pushing up the glasses from the tip of his nose almost violently, but reaching forward to shake Mal's hand anyway. A nod and smile to Wash in passing, and a 'Nice cane' gets a grin from the pilot in passing before a younger man exits the trading station to haul off the crate from the mule.
"Brought those supplies you ordered," Mal starts, counting off the seconds it takes for Collins' assistant to return to his line of sight out of habit and hard experience. "Suppose you've got my order ready?"
"As ordered indeed." Apparently the assistant had a friend; the pair were now struggling with a large, less sophisticated wooden plank box and finally manage to hoist up the heavy load onto the back of the mule.
Wash stared a little too long as the meter by half-meter box labeled "Blue Sun Engineering Corp - Restoration Kit", and Mal nudged him in the side.
"Looks like our business is done here, then," Mal offers to Collins, almost jovially. "...Maybe we'll be back on by when we get the chance."
"Hope so, hope so - you can take my wife with you, get 'er off my case. Besides," Collins shoves his glasses upward again, clicking his cane toward Mal a few steps. "Ain't too many people that can get me what you can that would get those kind of orders in return," gesturing to the 'Restoration Kit'. "That makes you...special."
Mal's smile ghosts faintly, but still keeps up the business appearance. "Glad to hear it."
Wash and Mal retreated to their seats on the mule, and Wash drove as calmly as possible back toward Serenity.
"Mal," he starts in an awed sort of tone. "Traders here don't deal in coin, so we needed to give him a box with the bit of Earth-that-Was, so...so he could...give us a huge rutting box of money."
Mal couldn't suppress his grin if he wanted to. "What was that you were saying about Naomi and flight school?"