Chapter 79 A bag of gold
Shu Huan was drafting those aromatic herbs. Just when she stretched and was about to take a rest, she saw Meijing came back smilingly. She (SH) leaned back in the chair, found a more comfortable position and asked lazily, “Did you carry the task through? How many people stayed?”
The moment Meijing hear her ask that, she laughed, “Everyone.”
“Ah?” Shu Huan knew that Zhang Hanfang wouldn’t like those old maids. It would be reasonable if she (ZHF) didn’t let anyone stay. It was a surprise that she let everyone stay. She looked smilingly over, “Is it that you played some tricks?”
Meijing stuck out her tongue, “Second young mistress thinks too highly of me. I don’t have such ability. Only today did I get to know how formidable those old maids are. I wouldn’t dare to offend them in the future. Otherwise, even if they were scolding me, I would take it that they were praising me.”
While talking, she remembered what had happened just now and laughed again, “They seemed to have discussed about it before. One praised how pretty miss Zhang was when she was young and how sweet-tempered she was. The other then said that a girl could change eighteen times between childhood and womanhood. Now, she grow up into someone no one could recognize…”
- A girl could change eighteen times between childhood and womanhood: a young woman is very different from the little girl she once was.
“Pfff…,” Shu Huan also couldn’t hold it in and also laughed. “Isn’t this scolding her in disguise?”
“Right,” Meijing covered her mouth to laugh. “They scolded very insidiously, but it happened that miss Zhang didn’t get the meaning behind the words. However, her nanny is a clever one. Her face had darkened, but presumably she was annoyed at being hit yesterday. Moreover, how could her one mouth compete with the four mouths that were able to invert black and white of those old maids? Perhaps those old maids would even instigate to let miss Zhang reproach her. She didn’t dare to open her mouth to point out and just watched miss Zhang let those four old maids stay. She was also forced to go get money to reward us.”
- To invert black and white: to distort the truth deliberately
Talking till here, Meijing took one silver liang from her sleeves, put it in her palm in front of Shu Huan and said smilingly, “It seemed that Zhang family is rich. Even when they reward people, they used silver. This is what miss Zhang rewarded me. I have no place to put it. Asking second young mistress to keep it for me!”
Shu Huan knew the rule of Gu household. Servants weren’t allowed to have a secret stash. Hence, the chest of clothes and jewelries of the maids weren’t allowed to have locks on them. So, she also didn’t refuse, took the silver and said, “Since you trust me, then I will keep it for you. Later when you marry, I will see how much dowry you have accumulated.”
Meijing’s face reddened after the last sentence. She complained, “Second young mistress loves to tease people!”
Shu Huan took out another empty box with a lock on it and put this silver in it. She smiled, “It’s the big truth, how did it become a tease? Don’t say that you aren’t saving money to prepare for a dowry!”
“Hey!” Meijing stomped her feet, turned and was about to go hide in embarrassment, but was stopped by Shu Huan’s shout, “These few days, I’m too busy. When I have time later, I will teach you accounting. At least by then, you will know how much money you stored here.”
Meijing went blank and then complained, “Second young mistress, what are you saying? Could it be that you think that I would be afraid that you would be greedy for this small amount money of me?”
Shu Huan’s heart turned warm, pressed down her deeply moved feelings and said, “I’m being serious. Don’t think bad of it! I let you practice accounting to let you help me when we go back.”
To be clearer, she wanted to be lazy, make time to do what she liked and not deal with trivial affairs like managing the money and managing people with the housekeepers the whole day.
The master and servant were talking when Huiyun reported outside, “Second young mistress, Ranmo had arrived.”
Shu Huan’s mood immediately turned for the better, “Let him come inside.”
Ranmo quickly raised the curtain and came in. He first paid his respects to Shu Huan. He didn’t wait to be asked when he handed her an embroidered purse with money in it. He smiled, “Second young mistress, did you ask for this little one to come over to ask about the business?”
Shu Huan nodded and took over the purse. It felt heavy. She pulled the thread of the purse and looked inside. When she saw that inside the purse was not silver but gold, her heartbeat couldn’t help but quickened.
She knew that agarwood was worth a lot of money, but those two gadgets really couldn’t be sold for so much money. Therefore, she couldn’t say whether she felt fright or happiness. She frowned and looked with puzzled eyes at Ranmo.
When Meijing saw that they had something to talk about, she quickly retreated.
Ranmo explained, “Second young mistress, don’t be frightened. A portion of this money came from second young master. This money didn’t come only from the things you sold.”
What did he have to do with this?
Shu Huan was more puzzled.
Ranmo quickly smiled, “You know that redwood is worth a lot of money. If it was a high quality good, it would be worth more than ten thousand on the market. Hence, this little one sold the carp that you carved from redwood for thirty-five silver liang. However, the highest price you can get for the other fragrances were limited. The buyer liked the lotus pendant and found it exquisitely carved. That was why the buyer paid ten silver liang. Plus, those painted stones, it was a total of fifty silver liang.”
Shu Huan urged, “What about the portion of your second young master?”
“As for second young master…,” Ranmo scratched his head. “He let this little one sold these flowers and plants of the resort to the florist and teashops. However, you also know how much mampower was needed to pick, dry and transfer these things out. Those few days, you and second young master went to the mountain. This little one didn’t have anyone to ask for opinions from, so, this little one could only act on my own initiative and brought two shopkeepers of those shops in the city to come take a look. They were straightforward and said that if the flowers and plants produced this whole year by the resort would be sold to them, they were willing to pay hundred fifty silver liang. They would also send people to do things like picking the flowers. When this little one heard that the price was reasonable, this little one was bold enough to sign the contract in the name of second young master.”
Hundred and fifty silver liang!
Gu Xiran truly was good in handling business!
Shu Huan was stumped for words. She didn’t know whether she should admire him for his foresight in business or look down upon him for seizing every opportunity.
It took a lot of work to paint those things. And, it was because the price of agarwood was originally high that she was able to sell it for fifty silver liang. Gu Xiran didn’t waste anything and didn’t even put in any capital, but he earned three times more than her!
Ranmo continued to say, “Those shopkeepers know the roots of our Gu household. They aren’t afraid that we will swindle them, so, they paid first. This little one felt that the silver was too heavy, so, I went to the fragrance shop opened by our household and let the accountant exchange the silver into gold. The silver is worth twenty golden liang. Does second young mistress want to weight them with the steelyard balance?”
Only now did Shu Huan’s got her senses back, shook her head and said, “No need. You’ve worked hard. I also don’t have any good things to thank you with. I can only reward you with money. Don’t dislike it.”
While she talked, she smiled. Fortunately, she was alert. Two days ago, she took a scissor and broke that ten silver liang into three and five smaller pieces of silver liang in preparation for unexpected expenses. Now, she took out a silver about the worth of three liang to give Ranmo. It was very convenient.
Ranmo didn’t dare to accept it. He said with lowered head, “Running errands for second young master and second young mistress is part of this little one’s job. It’s not worthy of a reward.”
Shu Huan said laughingly, “Your job is to run errands for little fourth! If you truly don’t accept it, I will take it that you think it’s too little. In the future, I will find it too embarrassing to order you again!”
Only now did Ranmo accept it and thanked her. He smiled and said, “If second young mistress has an errand, just order me. Fourth young master wouldn’t say anything if I run errands for you. Otherwise, he would just say that I do nothing and is being mischievous all day and hate me for it!”
Shu Huan laughed after hearing that. Gu Xihe still had the face to hate someone for being mischievous? He was the most mischievous one in the whole Gu household!