Chapter 103: Discussion About Returning to the Village
“That’s because of the water! Only the water from the village can do that! I already went back and asked around!” Li Gui said hurriedly.
“Then since you said you’ll earn money, tell me how you’re going to do it.” Zhang Qian took a sip of water, waiting to hear what she could say.
“It’s like this, I… did go back to see my daughter today, but I found out that the bean sprouts from the supply and marketing cooperative are supplied by their village! They supply it at 20 cents a catty and they can harvest 2,000 catties a day! The supply is collected from every household and each family can produce about 70 to 80 catties.” Li Gui stared at Zhang Qian’s face, afraid that he would be angered if she said something wrong.
After hearing that, Zhang Qian looked at his mother while he did some mental calculations on how much money could be made from 70 to 80 catties at 20 cents a catty. He concluded that it was quite a fair bit of money per day.
Looking at Zhang Qian’s erratic expression, Li Gui immediately said, “I’m still a registered resident in the village! If I go back, they will allow it!”
“So if you go back, they will collect bean sprouts from you and give you money!” Zhang Cong had recently taken a fancy to a city girl in the factory. She was young and beautiful and he was just about to woo her.
“The supply and marketing cooperative based their collection on the quality of the bean sprouts. If the quality doesn’t meet their standards, then they won’t accept the bean sprouts.” Li Gui saw the look in Zhang Cong’s eyes and was afraid that Zhang Cong would think that he could also earn a lot of money by going to the village. “Moreover, they only accept up to 2,000 catties a day. For bean sprout production, there is always a possibility of not meeting the standards three or four times out of ten times and getting rejected.”
“You money-losing good-for-nothing! As if those beans are not money!” When Old Madam Zhang heard this, she immediately scolded Li Gui. However, on second thought, she felt that there was still a lot to be earned. She thought that given Li Gui was unable to get any coupons by staying here, she might as well let Li Gui go back to the village, and it would also be more peaceful at home.
“You can go back, but you have to hand over the money you earn to this family. You’ve been staying here for so many years and we have taken care of your four children. Cong Cong has been subsidizing the expenses of this family, so you have to pay it back when you earn money. Also, you have to find the money for the beans yourself as we don’t have money.” Old Man Zhang looked at Old Madam Zhang. He thought that women from the village were more obedient than the daughters-in-law from the city as they did not dare to have any requests or complaints.
“I will definitely hand it over.” Li Gui did not dare to say anything to the contrary, afraid that they would go back on their word again.
Old Madam Zhang was about to get up and leave when she saw Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao in the corner.
“Bring the two of them along as well so that they can give you a hand.” She had no use for the two girls, and it would be good for Li Gui to take them away so she could get some peace and quiet.
“After you return to the village, plant more vegetables and bring more home.” Old Madam Zhang left in satisfaction and the group dispersed.
At the village.
Ever since Li Gui left, Qiao Mei had been mulling over where Li Gui could stay. Her house was not suitable as there was still her grandfather, Qiao Qiang, at home and also, it would not sound too appropriate if word got out. However, it would cost quite a fair amount to apply for a house at the brigade. Then suddenly, she remembered that she still had a house here!
Qiao Mei sat in the courtyard and pondered over how to get the house back. In the past, the house was left to Qiao Zhuang’s family for them to take care of Qiao Mei. Now, the house was in the hands of Qiao Zhuang’s eldest son, Qiao Fu. Back then, they had signed an agreement at the brigade regarding the arrangement.
Once she thought of the solution, Qiao Mei looked for Qiao Qiang excitedly and said, “Grandfather! I’m going to ask Qiao Fu for the house!”
Qiao Qiang was shocked and said, “Mei Mei, you’re pregnant now. That Qiao Fu is not someone to be trifled with. Don’t let anything happen to you.”
Qiao Mei touched her stomach and said to Qiao Qiang, “Don’t be afraid. I’ll get Uncle Zhao to go with me. He still has the written agreement. Besides, don’t you believe me by now. Don’t worry, grandfather. I’m going now!”
Qiao Mei went to the brigade to explain the situation and asked Zhao Liang to find the written agreement and then go to Qiao Fu’s house with her to ask for a resolution. Zhao Liang thought for a while and called a few militiamen to follow them in case anything should go wrong. Then he took the written agreement and followed Qiao Mei.
It was noontime and also the time when everyone finished their work and returned for lunch. They all came out when they saw Qiao Mei leading a big group of people. The big troop attracted a lot of attention and everyone crowded around, afraid of missing out on something. When Auntie Dong saw them, she also joined in. Before they reached the main door of the house, Qiao Mei shouted, “Everyone, are you having lunch! Second Grandpa, I’m here to ask you to return the house!”