Chapter 205: A Cripple
Lu Xingzhi piggybacked Jiang Yao all the way to the parking lot until Jiang Yao insisted on walking by herself. There were a lot of people walking around and there were even many elderly people carrying their baskets to buy vegetables at the market. If the senior citizens were to see a man piggybacking a lady, they would think that they were offending public morality.
Just like what the old woman had told them, Wu Zhong’s stall was easy to find. When they entered the market, they found the shoeshine stall near the market’s entrance without having to ask around.
However, when they arrived at the stall, it was surrounded by crowds of people.
Jiang Yao and Lu Xingzhi held hands as they squeezed into the crowd to find out the reason. It turned out that Wu Zhong’s customer had accused him of damaging a shoe and now demanded Wu Zhong to pay for it.
The people around could not stand it anymore, and they shouted, “You must be honest! How could he have damaged your shoe by just polishing it? He only earned two cents by polishing your leather shoes, deducting the cost of the polishing oil, he only earned one cent from you, and yet, you want him to pay you twenty dollars for the leather shoes instead!? How could you con someone like that?”
“What’s more, look at your leather shoes. Who knows how long you have been wearing it? What makes you think that you could ask him to pay you for a new pair of shoes? This is extortion!” The passersby said.
Despite having no knowledge regarding this matter, Jiang Yao could see that the man’s leather shoes were certainly not damaged by the polishing. With just a mere glance, she could tell that it had been damaged when he accidentally kicked something while wearing it.
She looked at Lu Xingzhi and pulled his sleeve, whispering, “That customer must be a local ruffian trying to extort people!”
“If I say that he damaged it, I mean it! If he denies it, bring out the evidence! My leather shoes were damaged by him! Even though they weren’t new, I would have to spend money to buy a new pair if this pair is damaged. I’d still need to spend twenty dollars!” The customer said while holding a cigarette between his lips. When he opened his mouth, clouds of smoke gushed out.
He kicked Wu Zhong’s stall as he was probably irritated by the accusations, and he scolded, “You f*cking cripple! If you still refuse to pay, it won’t just be twenty dollars later on! By that time, the leather shoes on my feet will cost two to three hundred dollars!”
The crowd knew that they should avoid trouble when they heard him being so rampant. More than half of the crowd dispersed but there was still a portion who stayed to join the fun even though there were still a few elderly people standing there, criticizing him.
The people who came to the market were people living nearby. Wu Zhong had been living here for a few years and everyone knew him. They knew that Wu Zhong was an honest person, and although he was an introvert, he was hardworking and helpful. He was a cripple and did not have any other jobs to do, and so, he had no choice but to set up a shoeshine stall. Occasionally, the neighbors would call Wu Zhong for some odd jobs, and the people who knew him had always assisted him.
The neighbors knew the amount of money Wu Zhong earned in a day in their hearts. Wu Zhong could not even earn twenty dollars in a month, and then here came a ruffian demanding for twenty dollars. If it were others who were in this situation, who would be able to afford that!?
“Why are you talking about all this nonsense? If you have so much time, it would be better to just fight.” Lu Xingzhi released Jiang Yao’s hand and asked her to wait at the side before walking straight toward Wu Zhong. He said, “Wu Zhong, although one of your legs might not have enough strength, I think it’s easy-peasy to pummel this ruffian to death with your fists, right?”
Before everyone could react, Lu Xingzhi kicked the ruffian in his knee. “Who were you calling a f*cking cripple just now? Hmm?”
“Who the f*ck are you?!” The ruffian held his knee in pain. He yelled before he lifted his head, “Why are you poking your f*cking nose into my business!?”