Chapter 6: Unquestioning Filial Piety 7
T /N: It’s already 1 am at my side of the globe, so I will post the remaining two chapters tomorrow or the next day. Well, I am aiming for ten chapters max per month. Fighting!
In the following days, Jiang Liu gradually put a focus on making money. Everything that he brought to the market was immediately sold out. Soon, the people from the same commune began to take notice of this matter. From the initial sympathy, gradually, different voices started to emerge.
“Have you heard?”
That night, Wang Xuemei could not fall asleep as she kept thinking of the rumours that she heard from others during the day. She shook her sleeping husband so that he could talk to her.
Jiang Hai, who was awakened from a good sleep, was naturally unhappy. But his wife’s identity was special. Her father also arranged his current job. Therefore, no matter how angry he was, he could only suppress it.
Wang Xuemei’s family conditions could be considerably well-off. Her father was the principal of the only primary school in the commune. Yet, he was not elected to become the principal due to his high academic qualifications. Instead, it was backed by Wang Xuemei’s uncle, the commune’s deputy director.
During the early years of the Cultural Revolution, many professionals had been severely victimised. Anyone who really had the ability was sent to the farm to be re-educated. This included the previous principal of the school. Looking at this, Wang Xuemei’s father, Wang Duoyu, decided to take advantage of the situation. Because of that, their family condition was getting better and better. With many other intellectuals being sent to work at the farm continuously, their family status also continued to strive.
According to her family background, Wang Xuemei should marry into a family living in the town or even in the county. Yet, she was fascinated with the fair and handsome Jiang Hai. Thus, she determined to marry him no matter the opposition from her family.
At that time, the high school was suspended. As for Jiang Hai, who was still in high school, his qualification was a junior high school diploma. The family conditions were also ordinary. Yet, because of his identity as the third generation of poor farmers, he could be regarded as someone with political capital. (T/N: During the cultural revolution, the farmer was considered a higher position than the intellectual.)
Yet, there were many poor farmers in the country. Therefore it was not such a rare thing.
But who made Wang Xuemei’s attitude to be so firm. This couple even provoked unmarried pregnancy, which became a massive scandal at that time. The Wang family couldn’t do anything but recognise their relationship. The Wang family also helped arrange a teacher’s job for Jiang Hai in the commune primary school.
In conclusion, Jiang Hai’s reason for working as a teacher relied on the support of Wang’s family. Therefore, his wife had become more and more compliant at home and even dared not to give him any face.
“It’s your big brother. These days, I heard that he kept making some new things to be exchanged with the market. It was said that the business was excellent. All the things that he brought to the market can always be sold quickly.”
When Wang Xuemei first saw those couple moving the thatch into the house, she was still waiting to see a joke. After all, what kind of money can be made from a weed-like plant-like thatch grass? She will even give hers away since it had been occupying the space at home.
In her opinion, Jiang Liu was stupid to the extreme even to contemplate weaving those weeds.
“From what I heard, they said that your older brother earned this much for one day.”
Wang Xuemei made a five-figure with her hand. When she caught someone talking about it, she heard that Jiang Liu earned up to seven or eight yuans per trip. Yet, Wang Xuemei believed that it might be due to the exaggeration of others. She thought that the amount should be slightly reduced. But she did not know that the actual amount of money that Jiang Liu earned far exceeded the number circulating on the team.
This was also the general idea of everyone. In their view, the things made from thatch could not be worth that much. Even if you can sell six or seven baskets, the price should not be topping the sky.
“You think about it. Big brother went to the market twice a month. Therefore, in one month, he can get up to ten yuans. For one year, there will be one hundred and twenty yuan. He basically made a fortune for himself.”
Jiang Hai was a teacher at the commune primary school. He only claimed that the commune gave him a salary of ten yuan a month. However, in reality, Jiang Hai’s annual income was actually far higher than what Wang Xuemei knew. Jiang Hai was actually a shrewd person. He kept 5 yuan every month to himself. As for the money in the house, he also takes some from the old lady with varying excuses from time to time. If they were really to make a simple calculation, the second house’s money was already far higher than the first household.
According to the speed of money that they thought Jiang Liu earned, it was still far from catching up to them.
But Wang Xuemei didn’t think so. She was so proud of her family achievement. She couldn’t bear looking at others getting better than her. Now that she knew the other person’s life was enriched, she was getting disgruntled.
Especially when she thought of the past, whenever Jiang Liu’s couple made money, it was all handed over to the public fund. Of course, all the money handed over to the in-laws will directly be handed over to them, the second household. So why should there be any difference now? As she watched the first household get better, for Wang Xuemei, it hurt her like someone cutting off her meat.
“It is okay for him to do the business in the right way, especially now, when no one is managing the market. But I think that he needs to be careful since there are people who have been caught selling things at the market in the past few years.”
Jiang Hai and his wife were not the same. When he heard his big brother was doing this kind of business, he could not help but feel that his action was incorrect.
“You talk with Da Jie tomorrow. Let big brother exercise some restraint. If the policy were to change, he might suffer from it. Even though we are now separated, but after all, we are still one family. If he were to do something wrong, we might be implicated by it.”
Jiang Hai was not worried about his big-headed big brother. But he was worried that the other party’s capitalist road would affect his political composition and undermine his future.
“There was nothing to worry about. So many people in our commune are rushing to the big market. They are even people in the patrol team joining them. You still don’t understand what I wanted to say. You think about it. When we were yet to separate the family, how much did your big brother earn? If he knew how to do the thatch handicraft, why did he still toiling in the field to earn mere work points every day? He said he wanted to live a good life, but why did he initially owe the hospital since he was so capable? At these rates, he should be able to pay off the debt in half a year. Yet, he hides this matter and still pursues our mother to preside over the separation. He let us have a bad reputation while he maintained his dignity as a big brother. You said that your big brother is a pig. But he was a tiger for deliberately doing this kind of thing.”
The more Wang Xuemei thought about it, the more she felt that Jiang Liu was no longer as honest and foolish as before. It seemed that he was nothing but an insidious and cunning villain who, step by step, trapping them in his ploy.
“Why do you think so? If he can have that brain and know how to calculate, do you think that my mother will be partial to me now?”
The identity of the eldest son was like a trump card in the country. If Jiang Liu were naturally a savvy person, then his mother would naturally be biased towards him. But it was because he was too stupid and too honest that Jiang Hai managed to have a good day.
So for his big brother’s foolish nature, Jiang Hai had never doubted it.
“You are too good-hearted, always thinking about your big brother. Anyway, I feel that the couple had never been sincere.”
Wang Xuemei muttered unhappily.
“I am not willing. I am not reconciled. The pressure is all on us. After we separated, we still needed to take care of the elderly. But now that Jiang Liu could earn money, he should shoulder at least half of the responsibility to support the house. I have to find time to talk to mother-in-law about this.”
Anyway, Wang Xuemei felt that she had suffered a loss. How can she be reconciled to let others free?
After listening to Wang Xuemei, Jiang Hai turned silent.
He also felt that he had been suffering needlessly during this time. In other families, it was usually the eldest son who needed to take responsibility for the household. How come when it was his family, he was the one who had to do it? According to his brother’s filial piety nature, if their mother was to seek his older brother as his wife had been saying, he doubts that his brother will refuse them.
He still has two sons. The family was also burdened by it. It was also understandable that he wanted his big brother to support the family.
The couple’s night talks ended, yet Jiang Liu’s discussion among the team members had become more and more intense.
Humanity was indeed like this. When you are in trouble, no one will feel jealous, and everyone is willing to help you. However, when your life is getting better than others, the number of people who pity you is smaller than those who wanted you to go down.
It was the selfish nature of the human being. Since humans move according to their self-interest, there was no way to distinguish others by being pure black or white.
Living in the same circle, Jiang Liu also knew that his days would fall into uncertainty again with the news of him earning money. But he had long thought of a way to deal with it.
For him, the range of business that he could do in the market was still too limited. For this kind of business, one person is enough to complete all the weaving tasks independently. The items that could be woven every day were also limited. How can he legally and reasonably expand the production scale and increase the sales market? This was the most important thing to ponder about.
“Comrade, may I know who is the person-in-charge here?”
Jiang Liu asked the captain to issue him a pass and then came to the city with his most proud masterpieces.
He inquired around for the city’s largest department store and then went to the counter specialising in selling daily necessities. He then tightens up his face, giving himself an edgy look before shyly and timidly asking the salesperson at the counter.
“Why are you looking for our manager?”
The young salesperson was very friendly and didn’t look down on him even though Jiang Liu’s cloth was full of patches.
“I am a member of the Red Star production team in Taifeng County. We are poor villagers who worked in the field. After spending our wages on food, we were left with nothing to pay back to the commune. Our team members feel that the country and the party had immense support to help the farmers. Therefore, we decided to turn this plant called thatch into a treasure. By creating a possible income for the commune, we believe that we will be able to generate profits for the country.”
When Jiang Liu first talked, he had a hopeless expression as if he did not know where to place his hand and feet at this seemingly clean, neat, and big shopping mall. However, when he started talking about their aspiration to help the country, his eyes suddenly turned brighter and eager, and it almost blinded the salesperson’s eyes.
“You see, this is the work compiled by the members of our team. These items were made beautiful and strong. Therefore it can be used to store small objects such as cream. As for the bigger basket, it can be used to store large things such as clothes. The captain of our team asked me to come over and ask if you are interested in this. If it is so, our production team can sign a long-term supply contract with you.”
Jiang Liu’s attitude was too sincere that it made the young salesperson feel overwhelmed.
“You wait here. I will go and ask our manager.”
The salesperson was just an ordinary and insignificant worker who couldn’t make any decision. Therefore, that salesperson proposes finding the manager so that Jiang Liu can personally meet the person in charge.
“Thank you, comrade. You are really a good-hearted comrade.”
Jiang Liu continued to thank the young salesperson, who could not help but become ashamed and decided to walk even faster.
“Hey, this country comrade, can you show me the thing in your hand?”
After the young salesperson left, some customers who had come to the counter to buy things looked at the pieces Jiang Liu brought over. Looking at the item, the people around him began to ask for the price.
When the department store manager came over, these scenes were the things that greeted his eyes.
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