Even though Mrs. Gu, who had recently regained her voice, had a lot of pent up anger, she did not act upon it like she used to. Even Gu Ming had noticed her abnormality, “Mei mei, do you think she has really became a better person, or that she was just suppressing herself?”
“Who know? I guess only time will tell!” shrugged Gu Ye. She didn’t think Mrs. Gu would become a changed person from this one lesson.
“Shopkeeper Inn is arriving with his mule caravan for mountain goods!” Someone, nobody knew who, shouted out from the entrance of the village. All of a sudden, the village exploded into bustling activities.
Nonetheless, mountain goods were very popular outside. Many women and young girls of wealth families were very fond of nuts such as pine nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts. In addition, there were usually a steady demand for mushrooms and black mushrooms as well.
As long as the opportunities were there, it would naturally attract merchants. They would usually bring with them some common daily household items for sale to the villagers of the several villages and collect goods that were in high demand outside while earning money as the middle man. Shopkeeper Qian was one of these merchants.
Shopkeeper Qian has a very mild temperament and has always been fair about money matters so, over time, he grew from a one man and one mule team to a caravan of dozen or so mules. The villagers, who used to refer to him as “Xiao Qian” has given him the respectful title of “Shopkeeper Qian”.
Qingshan Village was the furthest and most remote of all the villagers. By the time Shopkeeper Qian arrived there, the caravan was down to only five or six mules; the rest were already full loaded up and headed back.
The arrival of Shopkeeper Qian was well received by the villagers. Everybody brought out all of the sun dried mountain goods and laid them out in front of their house for Shopkeeper Qian’s inspection. Shopkeeper Qian did not accept any low quality or molded goods. Anyone who tried to mix in other items to try to fool him would be blacklisted and never accept any goods for them again. And Mrs. Wu was the only household blacklisted in Qingshan Village.
Shopkeeper Qian let his hired seasonal workers took care of the heavy labor tasks such as collecting, weighting, and packaging of the mountain goods. Right now he was busy being surrounded by a group of woman making purchases of the merchandise that he had brought with him from the outside.
“Shopkeeper Qian, how come you have only brought with you so little fabric? And the selections are few. Did those old hags from the other villages bought all the rest of them?” Third grandma was only in her forties, but she was of the older generation and was well-respected in town. Nobody ever tried to fight with her when it came to making purchases.
Her youngest daughter, Yinggu, was about to turn fourteen She had asked her older brother, who worked in town, to set her up with a family 20 miles away. They were going to meet up in half a month. She wanted to make a new set of bright colored clothes for her unwedded daughter but the only colors that were left were black and grey. That was simply too disappointing.
When Shopkeeper Qian heard that, he reached into the bottom part of his basket and took out a cloth package. He opened it up and it was a dark red colored cotton piece of fabric. He smiled and said, “Third Aunty, I bought this specifically for my wife; since you are really in need of it, why don’t you take this for Yinggu?”
Third grandma touched the fabric, its thread count was high and even, and the dye job was even as well. She nodded satisfactorily and asked, “That was so nice of you, Shopkeeper Qian! But I assume this was quite a pricey piece of fabric?”
“Truth be told, I bought this from the City of Yan for 200 wen. I will let you have it for the exact same price and not charge you anything extra,” laughed shopkeeper Qian.
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