It turned out that Jiang Chengxiang only had not a stupid second brother who was cheated out of the money he borrowed to do business, but he also had an ungrateful elder brother. Song Li became even more sympathetic to Jiang Chengxiang.
“My elder brother is helping other people deliver their goods. If you want to work for him, you will have to live on the ship all year round. If you encounter pirates, you might also lose your life. Before that, someone from our village followed him and lost his life. Brother Song, you’d better change your job,” Jiang Chengxiang said again.
Song Li has a good family and money. He had been helping Jiang Chengxiang these days, so Jiang Chengxiang did not want him to learn the true situation of his family. Naturally, he also did not want Song Li to work for Jiang Zhen.
Song Li was a bad-tempered and trusting person, so when he heard what Jiang Chengxiang said, he immediately said, “There was such a thing? I must expose him!”
“Brother Song, wait!” Jiang Chengxiang hurriedly stopped Song Li, persuading him left and right before saying that Jiang Zhen has something to do with the country magistrate. He finally persuaded Song Li and asked him to promise not to make a big deal out of it.
Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge ware recruiting people at the moment.
They only planned to recruit twenty people, but there were a lot of people coming over, so Jiang Zhen simply asked these people to write down their names and then go to a house he rented to take an exam tomorrow.
He didn’t know the level of these people, so he came up with some test questions to choose the most suitable ones of them—some of them just wrote a few words before giving them back. He did not want to recruit this type of people.
“Uncle, the men we recruit are going to go out to sea with us. You are too old to stand it.” Seeing a man with white hair and wrinkles, who was a little older than Zhao Fugui, Jiang Ming persuaded him helplessly.
“I’m a very strong, young man. Even if you try to fight me right now on these docks, I would be okay,” the old man insisted.
“I really can’t . . .” Jiang Ming was helpless, but he really couldn’t do anything about this old man.
Jiang Ming persuaded him for a long time, but the old man refused to give up and had to perform sack performance in public
“I only want someone under the age of thirty!” Jiang Zhen said, looking coldly at the old man: “Are you going by yourself, or shall I ask someone to drive you away?”
It was certainly not suitable for such an old man to go with the fleet. Since it was useless to persuade the other person, he could only scare him away.
The clothes on Jiang Zhen’s body let people know at glance that he was the leader. At that moment, his expression was so cold that the old men did not dare to say anything. After taking a look at the men standing beside Jiang Zhen, he ran away hurriedly.
“Huh!” The old man ran away, but a young man squeezed in. He looked at Jiang Zhen and snorted coldly. Then he faced Jiang Ming, who was holding a stack of paper and was asking people to write down their names and age. “I left my name here before, but now, cross it out for me!”
“You don’t want this job?” Jiang Ming looked over with some surprise.
This young man was Song Li, who was determined to expose Jiang Zhen “true face”, but he was afraid of involving his family and Jiang Chengxiang; so in the end, he put up with it and only said, “Yes, I don’t want it.”
“All right. Find it yourself and cross it out.” Jiang Ming pointed to a pile of papers beside him.
These days, big families don’t recruit people. The bookkeepers were all trained by them or they simply let other branches do it. Even if a certain shop wanted to hire people, they would ask acquaintances to find the right people and often would even directly invite relatives to do these things. Therefore, although many people could read, they could not find a suitable job. If it hadn’t been for this, how could it take Jiang Chengxiang so long to find a job that he could do?
It was also because of this that after Jiang Zhen recruited people in public, a very large number of people came. At this time, more than thirty people have left their names . . . so Jiang Ming did not care at all about some people who did not want to work for them.
Song Li saw that Jiang Ming did not take him seriously and became a little angry. He was a boy who had been studying in school for a long time! Much better than the others!
Song Li found out the paper he had written before and was about to tear it up in public, saying that he didn’t take this job seriously when people behind him crowded up and squeezed him out, these people were still scrambling in the hope that Jiang Zhen would give them a job.
Holding a piece of paper with his name written on it, Song Li was furious. Song Li was still angry when he saw an acquaintance coming. This acquaintance was also a classmate of Song Li, whose name was Zheng Baoning.
Although Zheng Baoning was surnamed Zheng, he had nothing to do with the Zheng family where Zheng Yi lived. At most, they were related back several hundred years ago, but his family life was not very good.
Zheng Baoning’s father was a small businessman who sold things for a living. He used to go out four times a year, and after deducting expenses, he could earn a profit of ten silver. Because of this, his family led a good life and he was able to study. But later, when his father went out, he met someone looking for trouble who kicked him.
His father didn’t take it seriously at first, but he didn’t know that that kick would hurt his internal organs. When he got home, his belly grew bigger and bigger, and he was in real pain before he died from it.
Without a pillar at home, Zheng Baoning was naturally unable to continue to study. He was only 12 or 13 years old at that time, so he was unable to find any job. His handwriting was not very good, so he could not copy books for a living . . . In the end, he made money by painting flowers for embroiderers.
What kind of grownup man painted flowers for a group of women all day? It was also said that he even painted the flowers on the belly pockets for those prostitutes . . . Song Li hated Zheng Baoning a little and even thought that Zheng Baoning had fallen.
When he saw Zheng Baoning before, he would persuade him to find a serious job, but this time . . . Seeing that Zheng Baoning seemed to want to work for Jiang Chengxiang’s eldest brother, Song Li hurriedly stopped him.
“Zheng Baoning, that job is very dangerous. You better listen to me and don’t take this job.”
Zheng Baoning immediately frowned after hearing his words. This Song Li was really full of righteousness and did know what hunger meant.
At the beginning, he was always advised by him to find another job, but he didn’t think about it. His family had no background, so where could he find a suitable job? As for now . . . when he finally found a job, he came to stop him.
“I’ll ask. If it’s really dangerous, I won’t do it,” Zheng Baoning said. After that, he immediately squeezed into the crowd.
“It’s really like biting the hand that feeds you!” Song Li scolded and planned to wait outside. When Zheng Baoning came out of the crowd, he’d talk with him properly, but unexpectedly, Zheng Baoning disappeared!
He had slipped away from the other side? Song Li was furious, but Zheng Baoning, who had avoided him, was relieved.
Many people asked about the recruitment place of Jinzhen Escort Agency and what they would do, so he also asked.
In the future, they would have to follow the ship to deliver goods, so they might encounter a little danger. However, with such a large fleet and so many escorts, the probability that they would have an accident was still very small. If you really wanted to talk about it, if you became a bookkeeper for some shops in the country town, you might also be asked to follow the shopkeeper to restock the goods, so wasn’t that dangerous as well?
Zheng Baoning had made up his mind to work hard to get this job. His father had been dead for five years, and he was already eighteen years old. He could only earn a penny or two by drawing pictures, and he was afraid that his family would be unable to make ends meet, so he’d better find a real job.
If he went with the ship, the owner would be responsible for the meals, so he would not have to spend some of his own wages and might be able to support his family with all the money he earned. But he did not know who the owner was going to choose out of the people the next day.
Zheng Baoning was thinking about this, and so was Jiang Zhen. He really didn’t know what to give people as an exam.
“Ah!” Jiang Zhen was thinking when Zhao Mingzhu, who was lying on the bed, suddenly cried out.
“Good girl! You can talk!” Jiang Zhen happily picked up his daughter and decided not to think about it anymore. He decided to let these people write 500 words of self-introduction and do a few math problems.
He set the questions according to the difficulty of a regular primary school, so these people should be able to answer them, right?
In the twinkling of an eye, it was the next day.
Jiang Zhen had been waiting in the appointed house since early morning. When he asked the carpenter in the county town to make furniture for him because he wanted to build a primary school for cultivating talents in Hexi Village, he asked the carpenter to make fifty small tables and benches. Now these things were ready to use, but they were still not enough.
There were about 100 people who left their names yesterday. Some of them gave up after they thought about it when they went home, but there were still more than 70 people left. Those tables and chairs were not enough at all, so Jiang Zhen had to use the furniture that the carpenter had made for him. Because there was not enough room in the house, many people had to take the exam outside the house.
Zheng Baoning came a little late, so he didn’t get those small tables and chairs, but he was given a chest of drawers and was asked to answer the question standing up.
Those who wore uniforms gave each of them three pieces of paper. On one piece of paper, they asked them to write down hundreds of words of self-introduction. After they finished, someone would ask a few questions, and they would write either answer on the second piece of paper. They could use the third piece of paper to write the question from their memory.
The purpose of this self-introduction was to see if they could really read and write, right? Although Zheng Baoning’s handwriting was a little ugly, he at least knew a lot of words, so he wrote more than 400 words before filling up the paper.
Seeing that the person writing on the bed next to him, who he estimated was unable to write and knew very few words because he wrote only 20 or 30 words on the paper, Zheng Baoning became much more relaxed at the moment.
At this time, the man with the appearance of a leader came to ask them questions.
“I have nine men working under me who are doing a great job. I want to reward each of them with eight silver. How many silver do I need to give them in total?”
“I bought thirteen rabbits. How many rabbit legs are there in all?”
“I asked someone to help me carry the goods. I gave him a penny for carrying a bag of goods. The man carried 158 bags of goods on the first day, 211 bags of goods on the second day, and 176 bags on third day. How much money did he earn altogether?”
. . .
Jiang Zhenyi gave a total of five questions, all of which he recognized as very simple. Zhao Jinge, who was next to him, wrote down a few numbers in his notes and quickly worked them out. But those who did the questions . . .
All of a sudden, Jiang Zhen found that many of these people have dignified expression and did not know what to write . . . Fortunately, there were still a lot of people who could count.
Zheng Baoning could count. At the beginning of his father’s business, he had to settle accounts. So when he saw these problems, he could easily calculate them.
After calculating the problems, Zheng Baoning breathed a sigh of relief, and not long after, their three pieces of paper were collected.
After Jiang Zhen saw the graffiti on the answer sheets, he simply did not want to do deal with it and asked He Hunsheng to give each person he did not want two eggs before sending them away,
These people already knew that they were at a disadvantage, so after Jiang Zhen gave them two eggs, they did not blame Jiang Zhen and left soon afterward. Seeing this, Jiang Zhen began to look at the rest of the papers.
The people who were really good at learning were obviously not willing to work under him, so these papers basically all had the same issues. Many of them were not even as good as him at writing, still, he found several good ones.
Jiang Zhen had made up his mind to teach these people mathematics first and then let them work. So he was not too picky as he finally selected 22 people.
Jiang Zhen gave three eggs to each person he rejected this time. As for those who were selected, he gave them five eggs each and then signed a deed with them and told them to wait on the dock tomorrow morning when he would come to pick them up.
Jiang Zhen men were all local men of Hecheng County. Before, when they were on the docks, the yamen officers were also very friendly to them, so they were not afraid of Jiang Zhen’s deceiving them, so naturally they all agreed.
Seeing this, Jiang Zhen also regarded it as relieving his worry.
After these people left, Jiang Zhen asked his men to take all the tables, chairs, and furniture in the house to the boat and take them back to Hexi.
The furniture was ready to use. After cleaning, he would be able to move into his new house with his wife, child and family!
To Jiang Zhen, this new house was still quite humble, for someone who once lived in modern times. But at the moment, Jiang Zhen was still looking forward to moving in. There are two rooms on the upper floor of the building where he and Zhao Jinge were going to live. At the one facing the south, he would live with Zhao Jinge, and he planned to let his daughter live in the one facing north. In that room, he paved the floor with the planks, so his daughter would be able to crawl all over the floor.
Well, his pearl couldn’t even sit now . . .
The house Jiang Zhen built on the other side of the dock was more than his own.
He built dormitories for his men and the sailors. In addition, he also built warehouses and several classrooms.
“Boss, what do you want to do with so many tables and chairs?” seeing the layout of the classroom, Wang Haisheng asked.
“Children can come here to study in the future,” Jiang Zhen said. “Your two children can also come.”
“Studying?” Wang Haisheng was both surprised and delighted. Everyone else was also very happy.
They made money with Jiang Zhen, so they thought they would be able to send their children to study in the future, but they didn’t expect that Jiang Zhen would directly set up a school on this side of the docks!
Edited by: Faro