Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Li Du was not afraid of the motel owner, though he knew the man might threaten him out of despair.
The warehouse auction industry reached out to many people of all classes and levels, and Li Du had met his share of people like that greedy landlord.
Although these types were sometimes nefarious, they only bullied the weak. t They would cave in at a show of strength from their opponents.
The really crazy people were those who gambled and did drugs. These two vices could drive people mad, making them ready to do anything for their addiction.
Then there was the destitute class who had nothing. When someone destroyed their meaning of life, such as killing their relatives, they would become aggressive and capable of anything.
With little money and not much to lose, the motel owner naturally felt desperate.
Li Du could guess what he would do. He would sell his motel at a low price and run away with the money.
Sure enough, the landlord lasted only one day after their encounter and closed his business the next day.
Li Du let Hans contact Su Nan, bought him a ticket, and told him the things he had to be cautious of. Then he let Lu Guan prepare the entry procedures for him to fly to Australia and begin his work.
He looked up the auction that Su Nan had told him about. Sure enough, it was going to take place at the Green Delaware Museum.
Delaware was a major river next to Philadelphia, and the museum’s main theme was the environment, plants, animals, and insects, so it was named Green Delaware.
The museum had been around for a long time and was opened before the First World War, but then it fell into decay as the surrounding area was renovated and residents moved out.
Eventually, the museum had no one to support it financially, and the administration had no choice but to close it down.
In addition, there was a rumor on the Internet saying that the territory of the museum caught the eye of real estate developers, who planned to demolish it and build a mansion.
Anyway, the museum was closed for auction three days after Christmas.
A few days before the auction, and just a couple of days before Christmas, Li Du was preparing for the biggest holiday celebration in America.
He was planning to buy some presents when he received an unexpected phone call.
The person who called was a treasure hunter as well. His nickname was Black Mustang, and he was well known in Phoenix, being one of Arizona’s few Million Dollar Club members.
Black Mustang was a friend of the ‘son of god’, Bell, who introduced him to Li Du, though they were not too close. Li Du was surprised to receive this call and couldn’t help but think this might have to do something with the incident at the motel.
Though it might be irrational, he thought Black Mustang had something to do with that man, as both were members of the local African American community.
After they exchanged greetings, however, Black Mustang got straight to the point and said, “Li, the gas price in Arizona has been going up. What do you think of that?”
Indeed, U.S. gasoline prices have been rising for a month and a half and were now at $4.053 a gallon in Arizona, the highest among all the states.
Li Du had been staying in Australia until recently, so he didn’t pay much attention to this matter. After he came back these days, he had seen some news items about it.
He said, “Didn’t the experts say something? The spike is the result of a decline in Arizona’s oil production and a shortage of source materials used to make more environmentally friendly oil.”
Black Mustang said angrily, “Damn the experts, those experts are the lackeys of the government, you know that. Their job isto assist the government to bully us, the citizens, and especially to dig their hands into our pockets!”
“They are so hateful,” said Li Du, agreeing with him.
The lower level Americans never had much faith in government, and loved to criticize official experts.
“I looked at the latest report from the gasoline price information center. Yesterday, the average price of a gallon of gasoline rose by another 12.6 cents. It was 50.1 cents higher than last week, and 77.8 cents higher than last month. They are sucking our blood.”
Black Mustang began to complain, “I don’t buy the government’s story that higher oil prices are the result of a combination of fuel supply problems and lower oil production in Arizona. It’s nonsense, all of it. They are just trying to get our money.”
“Yes, that’s right, but what can we do? We are just ordinary people,” Li Du pointed out.
“Yes, we are, but we can’t let them exploit us like this. We have to fight back,” said Black Mustang.
“How?” Li Du began to understand what Black Mustang was driving at. He had called in the hopes of winning an ally.
“I want to rally our treasure hunters for a protest,” said Black Mustang.
This kind of thing was common in the United States, where protests and demonstrations often took place, but Li Du had never intended participate in this.
In fact, this matter had little impact on him. He did not have many cars and seldom traveled in oil-guzzling vehicles.
Black Mustang must have lost a lot of money. He loved driving his truck all over the place to auctions, and he had a motorcade, which he took with him on every trip.
American trucks were gas guzzlers. They could drive far and over almost any terrain, but they consumed a lot of gas.
Such a rise in oil prices would indeed have quite a big impact on Black Mustang and other treasure hunters.
Since Black Mustang came forward to organize this activity, Li Du had no choice but to agree to participate.
This matter was closely related to his work, and it was also an opportunity for him to show his status. In addition, he could return Black Mustang a favor, and he had no reason to stay out of the action.
However, he did not promise to take part right away. He mentioned the current difficulties of his situation, saying that he just got engaged, and his parents were visiting him at the United States, and so on, making sure to let Black Mustang know that it was not easy for him to join the protest, and then finally he agreed.
Black /mustang was delighted at his promise, and the event required a call to arms. Li Du was famous in Flagstaff and all over Arizona, and if he joined, many people would.
The day before Christmas, when the government institutions were about to go on holiday, both sides agreed to make a scene.
Black Mustang continued to make phone calls and recruit people. He was going to organize a big event to bring his point through.
Li Du would join, though he was not keen on the matter, and dodged leading the protest movement alongside Black Mustang.
People started to put up their Christmas trees and hung the decorations and lights. Christmas day was coming, and on the morning of the 24th, the treasure hunters met at the state government office’s gate in Arizona to carry out their plan.
According to the regulations, American civil servants would have a day and a half off for Christmas, starting from the afternoon of the 24th and through the next day. They would still go to work on the morning of the 24th. Of course, at this time things would be pretty quiet, with everyone wanting to go back home to celebrate Christmas.
The treasure hunters chose this time to take them by surprise.