Li Du asked, "Both of you have been examining it so closelywas it to verify if it was a complete dodo specimen?"
Steve smiled. "No, we checked for several things. Not just its completeness, but also its authenticity."
Li Du was curious. "Why do you need to check the authenticity?"
Steve explained, "As the prices of the dodos specimens have risen in recent years, many people have started to produce fake specimens."
"How does one fake it?"
Steve thought for a moment and then asked, "Did you know that the dodo's bones are not very uncommon? Its the complete dodo specimen that is rare."
Li Du was aware, as he had read about this previously. In October 2005, a group of Dutch biologists had discovered an important dodo site in Mauritius, and had found the skeletal remains of many dodo birds from many different ages.
In December 2005, the bones were put on display for the public in the National Museum of Natural History in the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands. Prior to this, the skeletal specimens of the dodo had almost disappeared.
Seeing that he had nodded, Steve added, "After the bone fragments appeared, some people used these real bones in combination with the skeletal specimens of other birds similar to the dodo to fake a complete dodo specimen.
"Therere also other ways to make artificial bones, but the experts can spot these counterfeits at a glance, so theyre not as common."
Recalling the fake mahogany furniture, Li Du could not help but sigh; humankinds skill at producing fakes was really astonishing.
After confirming the authenticity of the specimen, Steve decided to buy it. He nodded and the old gentleman Elson gave Li a check.
Concerned over the huge sum, Li Du called the issuing bankWells Fargofor verification. The other party confirmed the authenticity of the check.
After hanging up, Steve said in a friendly manner, "Li, it seems like youre in Boston for the first time?"
"Yes," Li Du replied. "Ive been in Flagstaff my entire stay here."
Steve asked, "How do you find the city of Boston?"
Li Du answered, "Lovely, a city full of charm and history."
Steve then said, "Then I think you may be keen to take a look around the city? If you are agreeable, I'll make the arrangements. Id like to buy you dinner later on. It's still early now and I'm boring company. It may be more interesting for you to take a look around first. "
As he finished speaking, he glanced at the check in Li's hand.
Li Du was momentarily stunned, and then nodded, "Thank you, this would be a perfect arrangement."
Just based on Steves words, one may think that he was trying to kick Li Du out the door.
However, after noticing Steves gaze, he realized that he was actually being considerate, offering him the opportunity to go to the bank to cash the check.
Obviously, Steve had guessed that Li was not trusting of the check.
There was nothing embarrassing about this. Since Li Du was not familiar with Steve, he would definitely think that it would be more secure to transfer the money to his own bank.
Elson made a phone call, and a Cadillac One made its way to the front of the house. He had arranged for a driver, and Li Du could communicate his instructions directly to the driver.
Upon leaving Beacon Hill, Li Du asked, "Big Quinn, do you know of any family called Tussenberg?"
Their time spent together was short, but Steve had shown himself to be a sophisticated young man who was also considerate of others. Li Du had felt comfortable in his presence. Steve had won his favor within this short duration.
This manner of doing things was by no means self-developed; it was the result of having been at the receiving end of an elite education since youth, and also the influence from his family.
Also, that Mr. Elson had looked like he was his steward. Steve might have been young but was already living in a luxurious mansion. Hence, he speculated that Steve was from a large, important family.
The city of Boston seemed to have many indiscernible well-off folks, most of them attached to established family names. Steve seemed to belong to that type of family.
Big Quinn gave it careful thought before shaking his head. "Sorry boss, I dont know.Maybe you should ask Big Fox. I havent got a clue about this high-level information.
Li Du nodded in understanding. The spacious Cadillac One arrived at the foot of a hill, next to a Wells Fargo branch. He asked the driver to stop, deposited the check and transferred the money to a bank card.
With a car at their disposal, it was easier for them to move around in the afternoon.
Boston had many attractions, such as the Granary Burying Ground, the Public Garden, the Boston Common, all of which they visited.
Most importantly, there was Harvard University. For students worldwide, Harvard University was, without a doubt, a revered site of education. With Americas growing worldwide dominance after World War II, Harvard University's influence and popularity gradually overtook that of even the University of Cambridge in many students hearts.
Li Du felt the same, and there was no reason for him not to visit Harvard University since he was in Boston.
While Harvard belonged to Boston, it actually resided in Cambridge, which was some distance away from downtown Boston. As it was getting late, he did not want to keep Steve waiting and so after some hesitation, he decided to return to Beacon Hill first.
The Cadillac One stopped by the hillside, and Godzilla, who was in the backseat, got out of the car first to help Li Du with the door. After Li Du got out, Godzilla and Big Quinn stood behind him.
A couple people, who looked like they were tourists, were walking down the hill. They witnessed this scene and could not help but stare:
"What style. With a luxury car and bodyguards, which young master is this?"
"Looks like an Asian businessman. Does he live in Thoreaus former residence? What a rich and powerful b*st*rd!"
"Not so loudyoull be in trouble if he hears you."
Li Du stared at the tourists quizzically, and Godzilla and Big Quinn followed suit. Hence, the tourists sped up their descent down the hill.
On seeing this, the two beefy men chuckled.
Li Du asked helplessly, "Whyre you laughing? Weve been misunderstood by others.From now on, dont walk behind me like this, and put on more easy-going expressions. During regular times, were friends, not a boss and subordinates."
Big Quinn said, "Boss, it doesnt matter. I heard something important just now: this was Thoreaus former residence?"
"Thoreaus former residence?" asked Li Du. "Which Thoreau?"
Big Quinn replied, "Henry David Thoreau, one of the greatest writers of the nineteenth century. He was a philosopher, a representative of transcendentalism, and a man with a conscience. Oh, he has a famous book: Walden."
Listening to his introduction, Li Du suddenly realized that while he was not familiar with Thoreau, he was well-acquainted with the book Walden.
Other than being a writer and a philosopher, Thoreau was also known for being a staunch abolitionist. He was one of the most steadfast supporters of President Lincoln during the Civil War, and continued to support Lincoln, and the policy, in writing thereafter.
As a result, many African Americans held Thoreau in high esteem. Therefore, Big Quinn had quickly noticed the phrase "Thoreaus former residence" from the tourists' conversation.