Li Du knew about Mount Humphreys; this was a famous tourist spot in Flagstaff.
The mountain would be in full bloom of flowers in spring and a perfect place for hiking in summer. In autumn, there would be pine trees in luscious greens and golds. In winter, it would be covered in thick snow. All year round, there would be tourists flocking to visit.
Clyne was a little off in his description. Humphreys did not have such a long history. The name of the town came from the mountain itself. To exaggerate the stories for the tourists, Humphreys had forcefully tried to write their own history.
Hans was more knowledgeable about the town. Once Clyne shut up, he went a step further.
"Don't count on finding something very valuable in the storage units here. Our aim is the flora and fauna trophies, hunting guns, furniture crafted from quality wood, and musical instruments."
"Humphreys was a famous hunting site. Every year, in all seasons except winter, there would be people hunting here. Many decent animal trophies were made here. As for instruments—because the town had many lovers of music, every weekend there would be live concerts."
Li Du asked, "Such a small town near the mountains, how could it attract so many music lovers?"
To be able to support a live concert every weekend, there must be many music lovers here.
Hans said, "Humphreys is good at promoting themselves. They claim to be the birthplace of Arizona country music. This has fooled a whole lot of country music fans all over the states."
"Why didn't they claim to be the birthplace of America's country music?" Li Du asked.
Han shrugged. "Americans are stupid to some extent, but they are not complete fools. Who would believe that nonsense?"
The car sped on Highway 66 toward the mountains. The peaks looked clearer, meaning that they were close to their destination.
The storage company in Humphreys was called Folk Songs Co. Ltd. This was a new company. A lot of older storage companies had already shut down. Hans said this was due to the recent bad economy in America.
Li Du could not sense what was bad about the economy. From statistics, every year, there was an average of 1,400 storage units up for auction throughout America. This meant that there were many old goods that people had forsaken. If the economy were that bad, Americans would not have been so wasteful.
It was a Thursday when they reached the town. The auction would begin tomorrow. They would only have to wait another day to see the weekend concert of the town.
They randomly picked a restaurant for a meal and then went to Folk Songs Co. in the late afternoon.
There were not many storage units up for sale: only five. According to Li Du's experience, there would be even less available once the auction started. It would be good if there were even four left.
He let the bug out into the first unit that would be up for auction. It was medium sized. The items were haphazardly placed, with some inflatable toys near the entrance. They were those common animal-shaped inflatable toys for children.
Seeing these toys, Li Du shook his head. These things were not worth much. A new one could be easily bought with a dollar or two. Second-hand ones such as these could only be treated as trash.
The worm entered the box and found tools such as a sculpting knife and chisels. There was also a complete set of tools in a box, with all kinds of tools like a circular knife, a stone hammer and stone chisel. After some searching on the web, he found that these were all tools for sculpting.
These series of tools made Li Du curious. This was clearly a storage unit for a sculptor or someone who sculpted as a hobby. There was no sculpture, but instead a whole lot of inflatable toys?
He had an idea. He sent the bug into one of the triceratops toys. The vision of the little bug remained dark. The empty space that was supposed to be in inflatable toys was missing.
Li Du understood after seeing this. These were not the kind of inflatable toys that he thought they were. These were sculptures; the sculptor had some bad taste and made them so that they looked like inflatable toys.
Second-hand inflatable toys were worthless, but these stone sculptures that looked like toys would be valuable, especially more because these sculptures were clearly new and not second-hand.
He controlled the bug to search more thoroughly of the storage unit and found a total of 55 of the sculptures.
All the stone sculptures were colorful, and they were made in all shapes and sizes. There were all kinds of dinosaurs, birds, and animals. The skills used to make them were incredible. From their appearance, they looked nothing like sculptures; instead, they were identical to inflatable toys.
The second, third, and fourth storage unit were all common family storage units, with nothing valuable to bid for.
The fifth was also a family-sized unit, with an old TV, an old refrigerator, and other similar appliances. Li Du was about to leave in disappointment until he saw some children toys in a box.
The owner of this storage unit was probably wealthy to some extent. The toys kept in the box were mostly new and unopened. One of the boxes was full of Barbie Dolls. From the looks of it, there were about twenty of them, with most of them unopened and kept in their original packaging.
He remembered the kids back at Mother Mesa's welfare home. He had promised the children that he would bring them back some Barbie Dolls back. He was thinking of buying some, but with the dolls in those boxes, he might as well bid for the unit and bring them back as a gift.
With the fifth storage unit thoroughly searched, Li Du had finished his task. Now they just had to wait and attend the auction tomorrow.
Hans led the way. They drove to a hostel that was by the road that was called Grant Family Hostel. There were kitchens, washing machines, microwaves and all sorts of household appliances. The place had a strong family atmosphere.
The group chose three bedrooms and a living room. The price was 220 dollars. Li Du said, "This place is quite expensive."
"Of course, this isn't Phoenix. There aren't any good hotels here. If we were to stay at some normal hotel, there would be issues with our meals."
Li Du raised his brows. "Sh*t, what do you mean?"
Hans pointed to the kitchen and said, "My point is, you can showcase your cooking skills all you want here. Wouldn't that be great?"
"Great your *ss. Making me cook? Dream on," Li Du laughed, and then carried Ah Meow into the first room.
It turned out that this room was a secondary bedroom. There was not much space. He then looked for the master bedroom and gave Clyne the secondary bedroom.
Hans said unhappily, "Hey, why am I in the smallest room? D*mn it—I'm the one who found and paid for this hostel."
"Because I am responsible for the next three meals, so I would like to have a more comfortable stay. Clyne is our driver; he had a rough time on the road, so he should have a good sleep."
Hearing this, Hans said helplessly, "Sh*t!"
Grant Family Hostel allowed their guests to make their own meals. Its location was good as well. Nearby was a Carrefour supermarket, and across the street was a Greyhound bus stop that provided free tours around the town.
Whether it was grocery shopping or going out, it was very convenient.