Of course, Su Tang was also prepared to pay wages to all of the other workers too. When the time came, she would pay the workers from the Su family 22 copper coins a day but not provide meals. With this wage, she would be paying each worker a little less than 3 taels of silver over the course of the four months of work. Thus, it was reasonable for her foreman, Su Yongshun, to earn 8 taels for his work over the same period.
When Su Yongshun heard Su Tang mention such a large wage, he felt a little embarrassed and said, “I’m doing this to help you, you don’t need to pay me so much.”
His family had made a lot of money earlier this year from raising seedlings and he had wanted to help Su Tang build her house as a way to repay that kindness. So if Su Tang offered to pay him so much he felt a bit embarrassed to take it.
“Brother Shun, there’s no need to be so polite with me, you should take this money. My brother and I need to rebuild our house in the village, but we are young and it’s inconvenient for us to go back and forth from town all the time, so we will be relying on you to handle everything. This wage is what we should pay you, so please don’t refuse.”
Su Tang loved money and wasn’t the type to give it away for nothing, but she also believed that people who worked for her should be properly compensated. After all, there were many trivial matters that would crop up during the process of building a house. Moreover, Su Yongshun and Su Yongqiang were both trustworthy people and Su Tang knew she could leave things to them and trust they would do a good job. And since they were working for her, she would obviously pay them a reasonable wage.
Even after Su Tang finished speaking, Su Yongshun still had a look of hesitation on his face, so Su Tang continued: “I’m telling you the truth, Brother Shun. I’m very busy and I’m afraid I won’t be able to pay much attention to the construction process of the house so I’ll have to entrust all of the various trivial matters to you. Brother Shun, you’ve built houses before, so you should also know that there are a lot of little matters that will require someone’s attention, various errands to run and other things like that. It’s annoying to deal with. Rather, I want to thank you for agreeing to take on the job so I won’t have to worry about all that.”
Su Tang wasn’t particularly short of money right now, so if a problem could be solved with money she was happy to use money to solve it. After all, although 8 taels of silver was a large sum of money for an ordinary farmer, for Su Tang herself it really wasn’t much. She felt it was a worthwhile expense.
Hearing all this, Su Yongshun understood what Su Tang was trying to say. She was telling him that he would be completely in charge of the entire process of building the house. And, like she said, he was aware that this was not a quick or easy job. Thus, Su Yongshun finally relented and agreed to the wage and said, “Don’t worry, Tang’er. I’ll make sure to make a beautiful house for you, you won’t have to worry about anything.”
Su Tang nodded, “Since Brother Shun has agreed then the matter is settled. If you don’t have anything else to do in town, let’s go back and talk to Brother Qiang about who we will be employing.”
Su Yongshun smiled sheepishly and replied, “Well, it’s nothing important but your niece asked me to buy her some more thread for embroidery.”
As it turned out, when Su Nuan found out that her father was going to town she had asked him to buy her some more thread. Although Su Yongshun hadn’t explicitly promised her that he would buy the thread for her, he loved his daughter so if he could then he would like to.
“NuanNuan’s embroidery skills have probably improved a lot since I’ve last seen her. I should go and see her again. Brother Shun, you go ahead and go buy embroidery thread for NuanNuan, I also have something else to do anyway. Let’s meet at the entrance of town and go back to the village together ten minutes from now.” Su Tang said. She had thought about it a bit and realized that building a house was no small matter, so she would probably be busy for the rest of the day and unable to go to the Song residence in the afternoon like usual. That being the case, she would have to go ask her master for leave.
And since Su Yongshun also wanted to go shopping, it was just perfect. He could do his shopping, she could go ask for leave, and then they could go back together.
Su Yongshun quickly nodded and agreed and the two parted ways. Su Tang went back and successfully asked Song Yi for leave, then found Niu’er’s carriage and headed to the entrance of town.
When Su Tang’s carriage arrived at the entrance of the town, Su Yongshun still wasn’t there yet. After all, he was on foot so it was natural he was a bit slower, but Su Tang didn’t need to wait long before he arrived.
When he saw Su Tang riding a carriage again, Su Yongshun could only smile wryly and feel that he was riding on her coattails again. He quickly jumped up and sat on the coachman’s bench next to Niu’er, and then the carriage headed towards Sujia Village.
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