Downtown Boston was indeed made for walking and sightseeing.
Buildings with colonial architecture sat next to modern skyscrapers and parks. The eras intertwined, impacting each other to form a unique landscape.
Unlike the other large city that Li Du had seen, Phoenix, Boston's architecture was exquisite yet solemn, and peppered with many small streets.
As he entered the winding alley and walked along the cobblestone path to look at the quaint buildings on both sides, Li Du felt as though every step would lead him to a historical site.
His destination was Beacon Hill, which was west of the city center. It was a hill that was more dignified than majestic.
When he learned that Steve lived in Beacon Hill, Big Quinn had said that he must be well-off; just like the wealthy in LA lived in Beverly Hills, Boston's affluent and famous lived in Beacon Hill.
Among them, the Massachusetts State House was entrenched at the peak of Beacon Hill. Also known by its haughty nickname "Solar System Hub," this was where the state leaders and legislators worked.
Having entered the Beacon Hill area, Li Du saw many young people wearing red vests, indicating that they were volunteers in Boston. Most of them looked like they could be college students.
Watching the youthful volunteers, Li Du asked the two guys behind him, "Do you think I look like a college student?"
Godzilla and Big Quinn glanced at each other, and both simultaneously shook their heads.
Their reactions dampened Li Dus high spirits. "Then what do you think I look like?"
Godzilla said, "A big brother."
Big Quinn said, "A charismatic young business leader."
Hearing this answer, Li Du said smugly, "Well, Im not happy with your impression of me. I hope you guys can learn to see me as a knowledgeable college student. I dont want to be a big brother or a leader."
The two of them laughed: The statement smelled of hypocrisy.
They were looking for Villa No. 12, and when Li Du enquired about this place to a young volunteer, he took the initiative to bring them to the front of a villa, located halfway up a hill.
To thank him, Li Du handed him 100 dollars as a tip.
The villa, which was located near a forest, was not large in terms of floor area. It was a small three-story building, with a trimmed lawn and an ingeniously-manicured small garden.
If the location had been remote, this little villa probably would not have been worth much. However, considering the Beacon Hill location, then the villa would probably cost a fortune.
Li Du studied the small building, and was unsure of the kind of timber used. It looked as though it had seen better days; an old rocking chair was placed at the door, just like in a nursing home for the elderly.
However, judging from the voice on the phone, Mr. Steve Steel was a young man.
He called again and the other party answered quickly; Li Du told him that he was at the door. Immediately, the villa opened up and a white gentleman with a head of white hair walked out.
Li Du looked at him, hesitated and asked, "Mr. Steve Steel?"
The old man asked, "Mr. Li?"
Li Du nodded. "It's me."
The old man shook his hand and smiled. "Hello, I'm Steves steward, nice to meet you. Please come with me. Steve has been waiting for you."
His choice of words was polite, and Li Du could sense the air of nobility from the old mans speech. He sensed nobility, not arrogance. When he said Steve had been waiting for him, the old gentleman had simply used a matter-of-fact tone.
Given that Americans paid more attention to etiquette in their business dealings, and since Li Du had brought his precious collection worth millions with him, the owner should have come out to greet him.
But since the one who came out to greet them was not the owner, the old gentlemans tone should have been an apologetic one instead.
But that was not the case. The old gentleman had displayed a proud attitude in his tone of voice; one that made it clear it was not unreasonable for Steve to not come out to greet him.
If it were during his school days, Li Du might have gotten annoyed by this, and have said something stupid like: "Dont bully the young and poor, the tide may turn one day."
But now, having been through a lot in the storage auction industry, the more mature part of him was not annoyed. Instead, he was able to look between the layers to realize that Steve was someone of stature.
As they entered the villa, they saw a blonde, pale-skinned young man standing in the living room. The man looked slightly older than Li Du, but younger than 30 years old. He had a mild and distinguished demeanor, with soft facial features, and a gentle smile, like a noble gentleman who had just stepped out from a book.
On seeing Li Du, the man smiled and said, "Hello, Mr. Li? I'm Steve Tussenberg. I'm sorry I couldnt welcome you personally. I hope you can understand that Im not in good health today."
Li Du replied, "Hello Steve, youre too gracious. This gentleman has given us a great welcome."
He could tell that Steve was in poor health: his skin was too pale. If one had to describe it, he thought he looked sickly pale.
Both of them made small talk before speaking about the main subject.
Li Du opened the box carefully. It was filled with packing foam in order to prevent bumps on the road from damaging the specimen; he had used a foam machine to ensure the specimen was fixed in position in the box.
When Steve saw the specimen, his face became slightly flushed.
The old man immediately said, "Steve, dont get too excited."
Steve waved his hand and laughed, "I know, Grandpa Elson, I'm fine."
This was followed by the inspection of the specimen, which Li Du thought would not take long. Because Steve examined the entire thing extremely carefully, however, it took up a lot of time. He was not the only one checking: the old gentlemen Elson also participated. The two of them examined it from head to toe, using a magnifying glass and talking it over as they scrutinized the specimen.
Through their discussions, Li Du learned a few new things.
For example, he had always thought that the dodo had become extinct due to excessive hunting for its meat. Some sources said that people had found the dodos meat delicious and told others. Under the motivation of food, people began to hunt for the dodo, and the flightless bird had nowhere to hide and so eventually ended up in humankinds stomachs.
This was in fact not true. Humankind had indeed contributed to the extinction of the dodo, by fueling the demand for them, but the extinction was not entirely their fault. Dutch sailors docked in Mauritius had brought pigs and monkeys to the island. The monkeys had eaten the dodo chicks, and pigs and the dodo would compete for food.
None of these were the main reason for the extinction of dodos; they had only resulted in a decrease in the dodo population. In fact, natural calamities were the real reasons behind their extinction.
However, Steve said that this was due to some new achievements in natural research, and not the absolute answer. In fact, how the dodo had become extinct still remained a mystery today.
After the inspection, Steve lowered the magnifying glass and said with satisfaction, "Well, this is a complete specimen. Unbelievable for a specimen to be preserved for so long. We can seal the deal."