Chapter 8: Unquestioning Filial Piety 8
“How much do you sell for this small box?”
An old lady asked Jiang Liu while holding a small box in her hand. She felt that the pattern looked rare and delicate, that she felt unwilling to put it down.
“This is a small box. The price is not high. Only fifty cents.”
Jiang Liu smiled as he replied to the old lady.
“We have soaked the thatched grass several times before we start weaving to ensure the flexibility of each strand. We also carefully weaved it to ensure there is no loose thread. This box is strong and durable. It should last at least for five to six years.”
“The weaver was comprised of all the ingenious women and children on our team. For such a box, it took them about half a day. The most skilled women comrades could make five of such small boxes in a day. This is not easy work, so we decided to set that price. In our opinion, it should not be too much.”
When Jiang Liu explained that, his expression looked as if he was anxious about something.
“We have a bad harvest this year. Our team is still waiting for me to negotiate the supply contract to improve our team members’ lives. All of us really live in a harsh living environment. I, I would also like, I would also like to buy the clam oil used by the comrade in the city for my wife so that this winter, her hand will no longer be covered by frostbite.”
When Jiang Liu made such remarks, the old ladies around him who planned to bargain with this honest-looking man started to feel embarrassed. As they repeatedly thought about his words, they really felt that the price of the fifty cents was not that high.
Even the similar Paulownia wood box in a department store is priced between one yuan to – three coins. Even if they compared with the price of popular plastic boxes and enamel boxes, the price set by Jiang Liu was lower than what they expected it to be.
In particular, buying this box from Jiang Liu did not require them to pay it using the coupons. Unlike other things in department stores, more or less, they need to use some industrial coupons or other types of coupons. In recent years, those coupons were getting scarce. Now that they thought of it, they can have those boxes for fifty cents. It could not even be considered expensive.
Apart from getting this box, they can also help these simple rural villagers improve their lives. They should also help this honest and simple man buy a box of clam oil for his wife. So why not?
The samples that Jiang Liu brought were quickly sold out, apart from the cheapest small box that cost fifty cents, even the rattan box for clothes priced at five coins, and others grabbed other wedding purposes items of different prices. If it was not for Jiang Liu, who wanted to keep one or two things as a sample for the department store’s manager, he was afraid that all of them would be gone by then.
“This comrade, you can sell those items to them.”
As Jiang Liu saw the manager walked over, his eyes turned brighter in understanding as he let go of the item he held in his arm to the customer who had been clamouring for it.
“I am the manager that you are looking for. I have already seen the things that you have brought.”
The manager also introduced himself if Jiang Liu was not willing to sell the things in his hand.
In fact, Jiang Liu was already aware of his existence. Otherwise, he would not do his best to tell the sob story of his team’s hard life and the hard work of those women’s comrades. So was it essential to play sympathy cards for such a cheap item?
Don’t underestimate the sense of responsibility and compassion of this era. In the name of the working people’s state and the party, it was enough to shake the man in front of him.
“So you are the manager. Hello, hello, manager, comrade. Since you have seen it, I will sell the last two items to this big sister.”
That woman who was enough to be a grandmother was happy to hear Jiang Liu called her big sister. She quickly took the items, and even the act of giving money looked extraordinarily refreshing.
When all the goods were cleaned out, Jiang Liu quickly stuffs the money and followed the manager to the office. He spent quite a long time in there.
Because it was still uncertain whether these things will sell for a long time, the manager only signed the first shipment agreements. As for the sales of these goods in the future, they decided to consider it through monthly purchases.
At the same time, the price will be 5 cents lower than the price sold to the previous old lady. The manager informed Jiang Liu to bring the certificate and seal of the brigade. Soon, the agreement was tentatively set.
Due to the success of this important event, Jiang Liu was also in a good mood. He decided to stroll around the city centre of this era.
He first went to the city’s state-run restaurant to have a meal. He ate a bowl of flying dragon soup, a bowl of pot meat, plus two bowls of rice. Jiang Liu ate so fast that he could barely move after he finished all of it.
Perhaps because of the guilty conscience from eating alone, he did not forget to go to the city’s biggest supply and marketing agency and bought a big red plaid scarf for his wife. Jiang Liu also bought a jar of hand cream and some walnut cake as a small snack for between meals. After buying all these things, he also spent a lot of the remaining money to buy a lot of food and cloth coupons.
He was now a man with a wife and a family. Naturally, he can’t conduct himself like a former bachelor. Despite spending so much money, Jiang Liu felt delighted. He couldn’t wait to see his wife expression when he gives this gift to her. He could imagine her joy at that time.
“Liu-zi, you want to teach the women on the team how to weave the thatch?”
Big Guan was sitting as he lighted the cigarette and smoked. However, after listening to Jiang Liu’s request, he quickly stops the action as he looked at him incredulously.
The popularity of the thatch items made by Jiang Liu was something that many people on the team knew off. It was undeniable that some people felt jealous. So, they also decided to do a batch of thatch handicrafts and sold them at the market. Unfortunately, no one was willing to buy it because of the simple style and the ordinary pattern. As for making a new pattern for weaving, they still need to spend considerable time researching it. There were not many idlers on the team. Naturally, there was no way for them to grab this business from Jiang Liu.
Big Guan also knew that there were a lot of recent rumours on the team. However, those came from the crowds that were not popular within the team. Most people had been working hard to find a way to support their families. So they felt happy for him. But because of the rumours, Big Guan felt that Jiang Liu could no longer stand the pressure, which is why he was willing to teach everyone the ability to make money.
“Uncle, I am sincere. I grew up on this team. Many uncles and aunts are also very concerned about me. I think that my craft is really good at making money. Therefore, I can’t be too selfish, only thinking about myself. I also wish to bring happiness to the people in our team.”
When he heard Jiang Liu’s sincerity, Big Guan could not help but felt ashamed. If it changed to him, Big Guan was afraid that there is no way for him to be as generous as Jiang Liu.
“But even if you hand over this skill to the people in the squad, the demand for such things will not increase. If there are lots of people who do it, will we be able to sell it?”
Big Guan looked a little bit worried.
“Uncle, you can rest assured, I have met with the manager of the department store in the city. We can do this as a team and send it to the mall for sale. It is just that those people have high requirements for quality and will not accept fake products. I will teach everyone first. Apart from that, before I send the goods, I will also have to check them one by one.”
Jiang Liu continued while appearing as if he was hesitating over something.
“Yes, my craft was something that I spent time researching. Some of the techniques, if we are not careful, will soon be known to others. I am afraid that other production team people will also learn this craft. If that happened, the department store people might not wish to trade with our team but choose other production teams.”
“See it if they dare!”
Big Guan slammed on the table as he quickly stood up. He was so happy that he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He never imagines that Jiang Liu had already dealt with the department store in the city. This is a great opportunity for them to be able to deliver goods to shopping malls.
However, Jiang Liu’s hesitation also reminded him that many girls in the other commune’s production team married into their team. There were also some daughters on the team who married somewhere else. If they were to learn these skills, what should he do if it gets spread out?
“Rest assured. This uncle of yours still holds some standing. I will not let them take advantage of you. Those who dare to spread it outside, the whole family can move out from our team.”
Big Guan ruthlessly declared in confidence before he continued.
“But we also can’t let you suffer. You can teach them the skill; however, after everyone sells a product, they should give you one-tenth of the price as teaching fees.”
It was not easy for Jiang Liu to study all these techniques. Plus that, he also needs to nurse his body back to health. All this nutrition and healthy food will cost him a lot of money. Now that the people on the team have accepted his feelings, they should also benefit him.
“This is not very good.”
Jiang Liu was happy in his heart, but he still appeared wavering on the outside.
“This is nothing. You should listen to me.”
Big Guan decided to persuade him. Liu- zi, this kid, was too honest and simple. He should look after him more, or else others will bully him.
“How can I do that? I know that everyone also does not have that much money at home. How about this? Two years, I will let them pay for the tuition fees for two years. After two years, everyone is free to do whatever with the skills they obtained. I will no longer put restrict on it.”
Jiang Liu had already calculated. Even though Big Guan might keep tightly lipped about this matter, it was challenging to ban the weaving method from spreading completely. What’s more, other production teams couldn’t let their team make money for themselves. There will always be people who are going to study the skills of their team.
In the next two years, he should be able to accumulate quite a bit of his own money. As for the subsequent development, Jiang Liu decided to go with the flow.
“You are really an honest child.”
Big Guan patted Jiang Liu’s shoulder, unable to say anything to persuade him.
Even if this matter was discussed, Big Guan still decided to talk with the team’s accountant and the director before choosing a timing to announce this matter to the team.
“Da Jie, your scarf is gorgeous.”
Wang Xuemei, who came out of the house, happened to see Xu Xiuxiu, who wore a new scarf.
“This scarf is not cheap. Look at the colour. It is really a beautiful red. It totally matched my skin.”
Wang Xuemei’s eyes were red. Since their family condition improved, it seemed that her sister in law had also bought a new scarf. However, in her eyes, Xu Xiuxiu’s own sallow skin did not match with this colour.
“Oh, I want to go back to my mother’s house tomorrow. If they see this scarf, my family must feel that I have a good time in Jiang’s family.”
Wang Xuemei approached Xu Xiuxiu while saying that. She seemed to forget that their family had separated. She felt that as long as it was something that she likes, with Xu Xiuxiu’s timid personality, she will unconditionally give it to her.
“Does the younger sister like this scarf?”
Xu Xiuxiu asked as if she could not hear Wang Xuemei’s hidden meaning. Her hands tightly held the scarf while her face looked a bit stiff and disagreeable.
“Like, I like it so much.”
Wang Xuemei nodded as she kept staring at the scarf on Xu Xiuxiu’s neck, waiting for Xu Xiuxiu to come down and give it to her.
“Since the younger sister likes it so much, then when the weather is cold, I will wear it every day, so that younger sister will be happy when you see it.”
After saying that, Xu Xiuxiu did not wait for Wang Xuemei to react and quickly entered her house and then hurriedly closed the door.
She actually offended her oppressive and obnoxious sister-in-law!
At this moment, Xu Xiuxiu’s heart was still beating fast.
She held into the soft and comfortable scarf as she slid down from the door and sat on the floor, grinning.
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