“Boss?” Standing beside Jiang Zhen, He Chunsheng was stunned and rushed to the side of the ship. Then he saw that Jiang Zhen was swimming towards the shore.
“What’s the matter with the boss?”
“It’s hot. I also want to go for a swim to cool off . . .”
. . .
All the people on the boat came to He Chunsheng and looked towards the water. Then they found that Zhao Jinge was standing on the dock.
No wonder he jumped into the river, he just wanted to meet his wife earlier.
Seeing that Zhao Jinge also ran to the edge of the dock, these people suddenly feel envious. Why didn’t they wait?
In fact, Zhao Jinge did not deliberately come to wait for Jiang Zhen. After all, he did not know that Jiang Zhen would be back today. However, when he came to the county town to do business, whenever he was free, he would come and stay in the docks for a while, hoping to see Jiang Zhen. After he got married, he was almost never separated from Jiang Zhen. This time, when Jiang Zhen went away, he felt very uncomfortable, but Jiang Zhen had not returned at the appointed time . . .
This day, he originally intended to stand on the pier for a short while and then go home right after, but as a result . . . he saw Jiang Zhen’s ship. Zhao Jinge was immediately overjoyed. Then he saw Jiang Zhen jump off the boat and swim towards him
At that moment, Zhao Jinge also wanted to jump into the water, but there were countless boats and ships on the bank. They were so densely docked, there was no place for him to go into the water, so in the end, he did not do so.
After a while, Jiang Zhen reached the bank.
“Brother did you accidentally fall overboard?” Someone saw Jiang Zhen wade out of the water and asked, but Jiang Zhen turned a deaf ear to his inquiry to hug Zhao Jinge at the bank.
“You . . .” Zhao Jinge subconsciously covered his face with a straw hat; there were so many people here . . .
“Ha ha!” Jiang Zhen laughed and let go of Zhao Jinge. “Jinge, you come here to wait for me?”
“I was just passing by,” Zhao Jinge said. Only then did he realize he was being drenched by Jiang Zhen.
Fortunately, it did not matter much . . . It was at the end of June and was very hot, so it would only be cooler if he was wet.
“Yes, you are just passing by.” Jiang Zhen smiled. He has seen a man in a straw hat standing there for a long time . . . How could a passerby stand there for so long?
As Jiang Zhen talked, he squeezed Zhao Jinge’s hand. Zhao Jinge’s face flushed and he quickly put on a straw hat to cover his face. “Why did you only come back today?”
“I picked up some other business along the way,” Jiang Zhen said. “Thanks to that business, nothing went wrong on this trip.”
At present, the reputation of his escort agency had not yet been established, and Jiang Zhen was prepared to lose some money for the time being. Since he also brought some goods along with him and would sell a ship full of bricks along the way, his income and expenditure would at least be balanced.
However, this time, since he picked up a few deals along the way, he could finally make a bit of profit.
“That’s good.” Zhao Jinge cheered at the moment. Before Jiang Zhen said he might lose money, he was even more uncomfortable about it than Jiang Zhen.
“However, I found a lot of problems on this trip . . . We need to find a way to recruit more literate people,” Jiang Zhen said. Every ship should have a person who could read and do the accounting. Otherwise, it would be very annoying for him to deal with such matters as registering the goods and counting them.
“It’s not easy to recruit scholars, is it?” Zhao Jinge said immediately.
“I don’t need to recruit people who are very knowledgeable. Anyone who hasn’t gone to school is fine as long as he can read a few words and know how to do accounts,” Jiang Zhen said.
In the south of the Yangtze River, because of the developed commerce, there was a need for a lot of account keepers. Those who wanted their son to be successful in the future would always spend a few silver every year to send their sons to school.
They don’t ask their sons to take the imperial examination in the future and only hope that they could become accountants, and they would be satisfied with one or two silver a month.
With this idea in mind, old lady Jiang and Butcher Jiang had sent Jiang Chengwen and Jiang Chengxiang to school.
“It’s easy to find such people. There might not be many in the village, but there are many such people in the country town,” Zhao Jinge said. After going to the country town almost every day recently, he gained a lot of insight.
“Yes.” Jiang Zhen nodded and took Zhao Jinge’s hand as he talked with him. It was obvious that they were talking about very boring things, but he was still in a very good mood.
“What are you two doing here, standing here? Get out of the way!” Some people moving the goods back and forth looked at both of them in bewilderment. These two men were standing there in drenched clothes and didn’t know how to take care of themselves but were, instead, still standing by the dock, holding hands. What was this for?
Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge hurriedly walked into the tea stall next to them.
Jiang Zhen had coin with him, but fortunately, Zhao Jinge brought money with him. He spent two coppers coins for two bowls of tea and then bought four tea cakes and four tea eggs.
Tea cake was a local term for a local pastry. It’s made of glutinous rice flour and has the appearance of a square piece of pastry with stuffing. The stuffing was usually made from pork.
Glutinous rice can be especially filling and no one disliked pork these times, so these tea cakes were naturally very popular except that most people were reluctant to spend money to eat them.
While drinking tea, Jiang Zhen ate two tea cakes and two tea eggs. Then he asked his wife: “How’s Mingzhu? Did she miss me? “
Zhao Mingzhu was only three months old, so how could she know how to miss people? However, Zhao Jinge could see what she was thinking. “Miss you. She always cries at night. She cries for a while before is willing to sleep.”
When Jiang Zhen heard that his precious daughter was crying, he was so distressed that he asked about it in detail.
Zhao Mingzhu was a very easy child to take care of, and she was also healthy. Of course, it had something to do with the large number of people who were willing to take care of her. Usually, as long as she curls up her mouth, someone would immediately hug her . . . so it was hard for her to turn bad even if she wanted to.
She would make a fuss at night, just because Zhao Jinge was the only one who took care of her at night, and occasionally, he couldn’t take care of her.
After Zhao Jinge told him all about his daughter these days, Jiang Zhen’s fleet finally docked.
Jiang Zhen took Zhao Jinge to register the cargo on board and, along the way, sent a man to the village to report to the Zhao family that he was back.
After going out for more than twenty days, Jiang Zhen’s crew was thinking about going home, so the speed of unloading and registration of goods was very fast. When it was getting dark, everything had already been taken care of.
Thinking about his daughter, it was of course impossible for Jiang Zhen to have a night’s rest in Hecheng County so he asked his men to clean up, and the whole fleet left the Hecheng county town dock for the Hexi Village dock.
When Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge arrived home, it was already completely dark, but the Zhao family’ house was still lit up. When Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jingge pushed the door open, they saw Zhao Liu holding Zhao Mingzhu in her arms and feeding her.
Zhao Mingzhu was now nearly three months old, and her neck was not as soft as it was at the beginning. When she heard the sound, she turned her head and then burst into tears, probably frightened by the sudden opening of the door.
“Mingzhu!” Jiang Zhen was so distressed that he picked up Zhao Mingzhu from Zhao Liu’s arms and coaxed, “Daddy’s precious Mingzhu (pearl), did you miss your father?”
Zhao Mingzhu stopped crying when she was hugged by Jiang Zhen, which made Jiang Zhen even happier. At the same time, he found that his daughter grew more and more beautiful. Before, her fat face sagged which made her look a bit ugly, but with her becoming a little fatter and rounder. . . how beautiful!
No one knew if Zhao Mingzhu really remembered Jiang Zhen, but as Jiang Zhen “waited on” her, she gave him some face and didn’t cry.
People in Hexi Village didn’t bathe their babies because they were afraid of them getting sick, but since before, Jiang Zhen had been bathing Zhao Mingzhu. Zhao Mingzhu did not become sick and was later washed more often, so Zhao Mingzhu was different from the other children in the village and had no smell at all. She also especially liked to take a bath.
Jiang Zhen gave her a good bath and put her on a fiery red bag to let her lie on the bed. He just thought she was too cute . . . However, although his daughter was lovely, it was not as important as his wife at the moment.
Quickly coaxing his daughter to sleep, Jiang Zhen, without hesitation, pounced on Zhao Jinge.
The next day, Jiang Zhen took people to the county town to recruit literate people. The salary he offered was two silver a month. But if they did well, he might increase their salary in the future.
Many people were willing. After all, although many people had learned a few words, they couldn’t find a good job. Hearing that Jiang Zhen wanted to recruit a lot of people, they also ran to tell each other this piece of news.
“Chengxiang, today there are people recruiting at the dock for people who can read and calculate accounts with a salary of two silver a month! I’ve already written my name there!” A young man found Jiang Chengxiang and said this to him.
“Is that so? Where is it?” Jiang Chengxiang was delighted.
Since his lies were uncovered, he had not gone to the county town for a long time and was taking care of Zhu Shufen and his daughter every day.
Although his daughter cried all day long and her life was quite hard, she actually survived. After healing for a few months, Zhu Shufen’s body also became better . . . Then he could go to the country town again.
He had never been an aloof person, so after arriving at the county town, he cried to many of his classmates and asked them to help him find a job . . . The person who came to him this time was one of his fellow classmates named Song Li.
“It’s just over there at the pier.” Song Li took Jiang Chengxiang and hurriedly rushed towards the side of the pier.
At first, Jiang Chengxiang was full of expectation, but when he came to the docks and saw the people on the docks, his expression froze at once. Those people in uniforms . . . weren’t they people under Jiang Zhen’s? It’s about them recruiting.
As soon as Jiang Chengxiang gaze turned, he saw Jiang Zhen.
“Chengxiang, hurry up,” Song Li urged.
“Wait a minute.” Jiang Chengxiang stood still, unwilling to go over.
“Chengxiang, what’s wrong?” Song Li looked at Jiang Chengxiang, puzzled, and said, “Hurry up, or someone else will take this opportunity. Your family already became like this. If you can’t find a job, what can you do about it?”
Because Jiang Chengxiang told Song Li that Jiang Chengwen was cheated out of his money while doing business, Song Li decided that Jiang Chengxiang’s life was very difficult.
“I’m sorry. I can go when someone else is recruiting, but I can’t go when he is the one recruiting.” Jiang Chengxiang looked at Song Li and shook his head with a wry smile.
“Why?” Song Li was puzzled.
“The man . . . as a matter of fact, is my eldest brother. Because my parents were not very good to him, he took the initiative to join another family and hates our family. He certainly will not want to hire me.” Jiang Chengxiang sighed.
“Is there such a thing?” Song Li looked at Jiang Zhen from a distance and started believing that Jiang Zhen must have forgotten righteousness for profit. After getting married into a rich family, he forgot about his own biological parents.
“Of course. Don’t you see? He looks a lot like me,” Jiang Chengxiang said with a wry smile.
In the past, Eldest Jiang did not look much like the pampered Jiang Chengxiang. Currently, Jiang Zhen looked indeed very much like Jiang Chengxiang. What’s more, Song Li heard Jiang Chengxiang mention before that he had an elder brother.
At that time, Jiang Chengxiang was reluctant to talk about his eldest brother . . . Song Li had never known the reason before, but he thought he had guessed it now.
Edited by: Faro