As more and more people came to Li Dus old goods site, another role of the cabin emerged: a place for the exchange of information.
It was noon on September 3rd when someone suddenly revealed to Hans, "Dog Ears Rick and Lil Rick are back in business again."
"Really?" Hans exclaimed. "Havent seen them in a while. I thought both of them hadleft Flagstaff and gone elsewhere."
"Yup, thats right. They ran away. I heard they offended those from the Comanche Casino."
"But they were caught by the Native Americans. Now the Ricks are working for them as they seem to owe them a lot of money. Working to pay their debts."
"What do they work as? Ha! Selling their *ss or courting those fat chicks at the Casino?"
"Of course its storage auctions. They can continue to attend storage auctions but the money they earn goes to the Comanche. The two poor men are now workers."
Li Du could not sympathize with them, for the Ricks had dug their own gravesthey could only blame themselves.
He could make a killing at the Casino because of the little bug. Otherwise, Marlin and his men would not be in awe of his gambling skills or dread to see him walking in the door. Without the little bug, he would be the one working for the Comanche.
He interrupted the conversation and asked, "How are the Ricks doing now?"
"Not bad. With the Comanche as their backer, theyre more arrogant than ever," replied someone. "Oh yeah, Li, they said theyll get even with you."
Hans took off his sunglasses and glared at the treasure hunter. "Oh yeah? Let them come. Id like to have a good look at how theyll get even with us?"
A few treasure hunters burst into merry laughter.
Li Du waved his hands and said, "Ok, lets stop joking around. Big Fox, weve been idling for a few daysfind some auctions with some good items."
Hans answered helplessly, "Didnt we just go to Water Valley Town for an auction? Look, the chair youre sitting in is from that storage unit."
Li Du said dryly, "I want a unit with more valuegreat value."
Hans puffed out a sigh. "Okay, who has information on good storage units? Come on pals, Ill give a reward to anyone who tells me that."
"What reward?" immediately came a reply.
Hans stomped his foot and made a splash in the ditch. "Youll get to relax in the golden resting seat of our storage site. Hows that? Not bad huh?"
"Boo!" Sounds of jeering came from the group of treasure hunters.
However, there was bound to be someone willing to disclose something about storage auctions. "Big Fox, I can tell you something I know. I heard Holbrooks Vendetta Storage has good stuff inside."
"Whats that?" Li Du was interested.
As he finished his sentence, he received a call from an unfamiliar number.
He was therefore unable to hear the reply from the treasure hunter. He answered the call, "Hello, this is Li speaking."
"Hello?" came a friendly voice over the phone. "Hello, Du Li? Mr. Li, right? Hello there. Im Mr. Steel Steve, glad to speak with you. Ive been messaging you on Facebook."
Li Du was bewildered. "Sorry, I dont really remember. You are?"
"My name on Facebook is Mr. Steel Steve. Maybe because we didnt manage to chat, so you might have forgotten. I often send you information about dodo specimens."
Li Du suddenly realized who this person was.
When hed left a picture of the skeletal dodo specimen on Facebook, two people had sent him messages about it: one was Dr. Clinken and the other was Mr. Steel Steve.
After hed learned the value of the dodo specimen from Dr. Clinken, hed removed the picture as he was worried there might be people who knew the value as well, and that they might come after him.
Mr. Steel Steve had sent him messages, but Li had chosen to contact Dr. Clinken, who seemed to be a more trustworthy figure, instead of replying to Mr. Steel Steve.
Subsequently, once hed realized the specimen could only be sold for 100,000 dollarsalthough it was worth millionshe decided to leave things as it was. Dr. Clinken had called him several times but he would always come up with an excuse and hang up the phone.
In Li Du's opinion, because he was not short on cash, and the specimen was really rare, he decided that he might as well keep it.
He was somewhat embarrassed to receive a call from Mr. Steel Steve. "I know who you are now. So youre calling because of the dodo specimen?"
The person on the other end of phone replied instantly, "Yes, yes, yesI like collecting bird specimens. Im a bird specimen collector, and Im very interested in your dodo specimen."
Li Du declined politely. "Thank you for your interest. But I dont plan on selling it."
"Are you also interested in collecting bird specimens?" asked Mr. Steel Steve. "Or did someone else give you a quote?"
"Im actually not really interested in collecting bird specimens," Li Du admitted, "and I dont lack money. The dodo specimen cant be sold for a good price so Im not interested in selling it."
"Has someone quoted a price? May I ask how much are they willing to pay for it?" Mr. Steel Steve sounded startled.
There was nothing to hide in regards to this matter and Li Du replied, "Dr. George Clinken, from the Metropolitan Museum of Birds, told me that this specimen is worth millions, but he could only offer me 100,000 dollars."
"That *sshole!" Mr. Steel Steve cussed.
Li Du was puzzled and asked, "Whats up?"
Mr. Steel Steve said, "You didnt deal with George Clinken, right?"
"No, I didnt."
"Thats clever of you, pal. You were nearly fooled by him." Mr. Steel Steve sounded a little exasperated. "That man knows how to fool people."
Li Du asked, "What do you mean?"
"Your specimen is worth a million dollars, and you can sell it for a million dollars, not 100,000 dollars," said Mr. Steel Steve. "George Clinken is a greedy b*st*rd. He likes to use his identity to deceive others who dont know about this industry. Obviously, youve been fooled by him."
As Li listened on, he got excited and said, "So do you mean youre willing to buy this specimen for a million dollars?"
Mr. Steel Steve replied affirmatively, "Of course, if the specimen is exactly what your picture shows, Im willing to pay 1,000,000 dollars!"
Li Du wasted no time and said, "Give me your address, Ill deliver it to you. I guarantee you that the actual specimen is better than what you saw in the picture!"
He might have felt indifferent about selling the specimen for 100,000 dollars, but 1,000,000 dollars was a different story. A million US dollars!
This had come as a surprise to him. Originally, he had exchanged a few things for something that could sell for 100,000 dollars from the Amishhe was already satisfied with that.
Now, he was told the specimen could really be sold for a million dollars, which was a huge difference from what he was told of the previous amount of 100,000 dollars.
Li Du was actually a little doubtful as well. He even thought that maybe he was dreaming. Despite the fact that he had a personal net worth of millions, a million dollars was still not a small sum. It was enough to make him jump with joy.