In the twelfth lunar month of the twenty-seventh year of the Republic of China, on the banks of the Fuxi River in Ziliujing, Fushun County, Tian Dongting, dressed in a purple cashmere robe, was standing on the wharf outside the Guanwai looking into the distance against the bitter cold wind, frowning.
At this moment, he was feeling uneasy and restless. There were quite a few people in the same situation as Tian Dongting, all gathered in the teahouse adjacent to the pier, staring anxiously at the river, eagerly anticipating the fleet’s appearance.
These people are all the bosses of the textile workshops in Dashanpu Town. Among them, Tian Dongting’s Xinli Workshop has the largest industry and owns more than 70 tung oil and cypress looms. He is also the most anxious at this time. If that person does not arrive as scheduled, Tian Dongting will suffer a heavy loss.
It turned out that the person they were waiting for was the shopkeeper of Xinyi Company in Chengdu County, surnamed Zheng, surnamed Xie, and surnamed Yundeng. In recent years, he bought most of the cloth produced in the town. At the beginning of the year, I made an agreement with everyone to reserve all the cotton cloth for this year at the price of four yuan a piece.
Before the twelfth lunar month, the bosses had already prepared the cloth, but before the shopkeeper Zheng came, there was a lot of bad news: the foreign machine-woven cloth shipped from Shanghai and Chongqing was good and cheap, and the price of local cloth was depressed; All the big merchants went to Shanghai to buy goods, and no longer bought native cotton cloth…
Everyone in the teahouse was worried that Lao Zheng would not be able to come as promised. Now that the market is so turbulent, the cotton cloth in stock may not be easy to sell at a reduced price.
The bosses in the lobby are chattering, talking about each other. In this case, it is better to sell it at a lower price earlier. In that case, the chamber of commerce guarantees that Lao Zheng will not renege on his debt. This also said that if you renege on your debts, you can pay the security deposit at most. Lao Zheng would definitely rather pay the security deposit than bite the bullet and eat cotton cloth.
After being dull for a while, someone said again: “My brother and I operate with a small capital, and the loss is nothing compared to that standing on the pier. His brother has lost his capital. This old boy has no profit in his life. Well, the hard-earned family business will probably be over this time.” As soon as these words came out, everyone who was originally depressed felt a little relaxed or even happy for some reason.
So someone shouted out the window: “Boss Tian, it’s freezing outside, come in and warm yourself by the fire.”
Tian Dongting, who was standing alone on the pier, felt that his legs were numb from the cold, and looked into the distance, stomping his feet, unwilling Xin Xin stepped back into the teahouse step by step.
As soon as he entered the room, he shouted loudly and forcefully: “Zhuyeqing.” The master of the teahouse did not dare to neglect, and hurriedly brought the covered bowl and teacup with the high-quality tea, quickly uncovered the lid and poured fresh boiling water, and at the same time poured a cup of tea Plates filled with egg sticks, red dates, melon seeds, and peanuts are placed on the table, which is the treatment only for drinking high-end tea.
Annoyed, Tian Dongting picked up a melon seed and stuffed it into his mouth and licked it, but accidentally touched the big bubbles from the corner of his mouth due to the fire. He frowned in pain, dropped the melon seed in his hand, looked out the window, and picked up the teacup again, One mouthful, it was so hot that I vomited.
The bosses sitting next to him thought it was funny when they saw that he was out of his mind and temporarily forgot about his troubles about the backlog of cotton cloth. Boss Wang on the left took out a cigarette from the three-paotai cigarette case and handed it to Tian Dongting.
Tian Dongting looked at the cigarette case, took the cigarettes, and comforted himself: “I don’t think Lao Zheng will bully us, after all, we have cooperated for so many years.” But he thought to himself, if he were Lao Zheng, this deal would be useless Figure, determined not to fulfill the contract, now only hope that he will have a wide range of connections, and he will still make money after collecting this batch of cotton cloth.
Boss Song, who was sitting in the corner, interrupted at this moment: “I heard that shopkeeper Zheng has gone to Shanghai…”
Hearing this, everyone became nervous again. Asked: “Is it true? Are you going to buy goods?”
Seeing everyone looking at him, Boss Song was a little flustered: “I just heard that maybe he is going to play…”
Going to Shanghai at this time, besides foreign cloth, there are other things explain?
Everyone was worried again.
Suddenly, Boss Song pointed out the window and shouted: “Look, the boat.”
Everyone immediately looked in the direction of his finger, and sure enough, several wooden boats were approaching from afar, and everyone was relieved. Tian Dongting was the first to jump up and run to the pier go.
Everyone stood at the pier, watching the approaching fleet, feeling a little strange. The speed of the boat was slow, as if it was loaded with goods, and there were not many boats, could it hold the cotton cloth of the whole town?
The fleet gradually docked, and everyone was dumbfounded. It turned out that this was a cargo ship of the Yuanheng Company, and they came here for sale with a full load of foreign cloth.
Wearing a squirrel white brocade robe, the round shopkeeper Long saw so many textile workshop owners standing on the pier, so he waved his short and fat hands and said with a smile: “Thank you, big bosses, I really don’t dare to welcome Long in such a cold day.” , please in the teahouse, I’ll be a little Dong, hahaha.”
Everyone watched silently as his men moved bundles of foreign cloth to the pier, Boss Song leaned over and asked softly, “Do you accept the cotton cloth?
” With a smile all over his face: “Accept, why don’t you accept it? But the price is not last year’s price, this year’s two yuan and three for one piece.”
Boss Song was anxious: “You can’t buy cotton yarn at this price, but the shopkeeper Zheng is four yuan a piece… …”
Shopkeeper Long still greeted him with a smile on his face: “I paid two yuan and three yuan today, and maybe I will only pay two yuan tomorrow, haha.” Everyone returned
to the teahouse angrily, and several of the bosses followed shopkeeper Long to his shop to talk. He has habitually forgotten the matter of exchanging cotton cloth and the matter of being the host of the teahouse.
Sitting at the table, Tian Dongting stared at the river outside the window in a daze. The nearly 100 workers in the workshop have not been paid their salaries for two months, and it is almost impossible to fulfill their promises by the end of the year depending on the situation. Boss Zheng is not an idiot either. Now that he is asked to buy a piece of cloth for two yuan more than four yuan, he is determined not to do it. We can only withhold the wages of the workers, so who cares, what if we break our promises? So what if you don’t speak morally? Profit is the top priority, as long as you don’t lose your property…
Tian Dongting couldn’t bear the thought of those hard-working workers who would get nothing and be disappointed and sad, so he forced himself not to think about these things.
When he was thinking wildly, he suddenly caught a glimpse of a boat approaching in the distance on the river, his heart moved, and he stood up suddenly, and the others also exclaimed: “Boss Zheng’s boat!” Tian Dongting couldn’t believe his eyes
. Come to fulfill the contract, I’m afraid shopkeeper Zheng has never done business, right? There are many salt warehouses around this pier, so they are here to transport salt, right?
The fleet slowly approached, from far to near, Tian Dongting shook his head: “Although this is not a salt ship, it is definitely not Lao Zheng’s ship. It is all heavily loaded and there is no empty ship. He is not stupid. Li Ketu, how come you come to collect the cloth?”
Boss Wang pointed at the bow of the boat and said, “Who is the bow of the boat if it’s not Shopkeeper Zheng?”
Everyone looked around, and when the boat got closer, they saw a middle-aged burly man in a gray cotton robe, standing at the bow, waving to this side frequently.
Tian Dongting flocked to the pier with the crowd. He was overjoyed and puzzled. The arrival of the shopkeeper Yuanheng had confirmed that the four yuan a piece of cotton cloth had no profit at all. Why did Lao Zheng keep his word? Could it be that he has no news and doesn’t know that the price of cotton cloth has plummeted? Thinking of this, Tian Dongting laughed to himself. The big shopkeepers who have set up semicolons in Shanghai and Chongqing will not be well-informed? But what are they trying to do if they don’t want to benefit him?
The ship had already arrived, and shopkeeper Zheng leaped onto the pier vigorously, and bowed his hands together with all the bosses: “Brother went to Shanghai for a few days, and I delayed the delivery time. I hope you will forgive me.” Everyone said that if you can come to receive the goods, it is Amitabha
. What’s wrong with being late? Tian Dongting squeezed out of the crowd, grabbed shopkeeper Zheng’s hand and said, “Don’t dare, don’t dare, just come here, please ask the warehouse to inspect the goods.” Shopkeeper Zheng smiled and
waved his hands: “No hurry, brother, I have something to do with everyone this time. Consult with each other.”
When the bosses heard this, they couldn’t help being surprised, what’s the matter? Not accepting the goods?
Shopkeeper Zheng said with a smile: “The goods will definitely be accepted. Four yuan and one cent are not a lot. Brothers have always adhered to the family motto of the ancestors in doing things: the two characters of faith and righteousness are established in the world, and promises are as good as gold. There will be no change. This time the price of cotton cloth has fallen, losses are inevitable, but the promise is in the future. First, how can you break the contract later? The ancestors never dare to violate, so please be at ease.”
Hearing this, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, but Tian Dongting was really sorry. In terms of buying and selling, now the shopkeeper Zheng knows that there is no profit, but he is trustworthy and righteous. It is really embarrassing, so he expressed his willingness to lower the price of cotton. The rest of the workshop owners responded one after another, and at the same time asked Yao Shi to go to Shopkeeper Long to inform: Shopkeeper Zheng has come to fulfill the contract.
Shopkeeper Zheng was also quite moved when he saw that everyone cut the price of goods by themselves: “This time, my brothers went to various textile factories in Shanghai. The foreign cloth is indeed of high quality and cheap, but in terms of the skills of the workers, our local people are still superb. The difference is that The foreign-style machines are more efficient, and this time the brothers ordered a batch of new weaving machines, which can be used for electricity or manpower, and I would like to credit them to you, and then deduct them from the purchase price next year, what do you think?”
It turned out that the goods on this ship were all new-style looms, no wonder they were fully loaded. Everyone was willing to do such a good thing. Looking at the shiny foreign machines, Dong Ting boldly expressed that he wanted seventy sets.
Shopkeeper Zheng smiled: “Third brother, one of these new machines can produce at least three of yours, so let me give you twenty.”
Tian Dongting couldn’t help thinking to himself when he heard this: What are the remaining dozens of workers who don’t have machines to operate? manage? If they were fired, wouldn’t it be pitiful for the whole family to have nothing to live on? You have been with me for many years, but you ended up like this, wouldn’t you call me heartless and ungrateful? It is better to ask for another 20 units, and let them rotate to work, and gradually expand the scale in the future to ensure that they all have machine operations. After making up his mind, Tian Dongting firmly said: “Forty units, no less.”
The other bosses also asked for ten units, and I competed for fifteen units. There was a sense of warmth by the pier in the cold winter…
Several years later, His son Tian Mingguo asked Tian Dongting: “Father, now that the reform and opening up is underway, I am going to do some textile business. This is our old business. What is the name of
the store ?” They took a group photo, pondered for a moment and said: “It doesn’t matter what the name is. To do business is to be a human being. You can’t be mercenary and neglect righteousness. You must uphold the family motto: Keep promises and righteousness!”
Tian Mingguo said: “Then call it Xinyi Store.”