Let The Selling Begin

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David woke to the scuffling sounds and low din of the others getting ready for their day. They had been true to their word about finding him another bed to sleep on and he had been using it for half a week. It was almost like a narrow hammock with a fixed frame and, despite its small size, was comfortable. The grass ropes that created the mesh were covered by a couple blankets to mask the roughness. The bed was more welcoming than the one his parents had bought a couple years earlier. He would have to build one if they ever made it home.

He rolled his legs off the bed and sat up. That was the only drawback -- the sides of the bed were slightly taller than the part he slept on. But he saw that Mark was already up.

The morning twilight was beginning to brighten the sky outside as David collected the eggs and biscuit-like cakes that would be his breakfast. This day promised to be a tiring one also.

"Good morning," he said to Mark.

"G'morning, tree magnet."

"Do you -- " David paused. It was a good thing he woke up pretty easily. "I've already said I wouldn't make any more cracks about SaƱi, didn't I?"

"Yep," said Mark smugly.

"I'll just have to find something else. Don't worry."

"Oh, I'm not."

"Anyway. Do you have any ideas for how we should go about things this morning. It's probably a good idea for both of us to pitch this."

"Yeah, I've asked several of the other guys if they know of anybody who is doing really well in business and might need to expand or replace what they're using. We should hit them first and try to build up your confidence a little."

"Ouch. You are in quite the antagonist mood this morning, aren't you?"

"You don't want to be too serious of a salesman."

"Suuure, you are just making up excuses."

"We don't want to hit people too early. Some have an idea that the first thing that happens in the day is an omen of how the rest of the day will go."

David groaned. "Does that work here too?"

"I meant about spending money," laughed Mark.

"Maybe I should go back to bed. Or was that an Arabian belief?"

"It might be. I don't remember. Even if it is, we would be wise to let people wake up a little first."

"You should have thought about that with me. If we're going to wait an hour or two, we might as well get some work done on the next wagon before we start."

After they finished eating, they headed across the property to the work area that they had claimed. David worked on making wood chips that were roughly the size requested by the blacksmith. Even with how little relative practice he had already had, it wasn't too difficult to accomplish. Mark set about cutting another tree into the lengths they would require for boards. The work progressed for nearly two hours before they decided it was time to try selling their creation.

David looked wistfully at what still needed to be done. "It feels like such a waste to have both of us talking to people."

"Yeah, the balance of time is hard, but neither of us speaks Runasimi terribly well."

"True," David conceded, "and yet, we do need to keep this sustainable."

They took a couple minutes to make sure that they were presentable before hooking up the new wagon so they could leave. David was to be the designated speaker as he had the sword. If he ran into trouble, Mark would help.

At their first stop, they had to ask a couple of the hired hands before they found the owner in the stable. He was a farmer of sorts also, as were most of the people who had been named to them.

David started the introduction. "Good morning, I'm David."

"Good morning. Illapu. What can I do for you?"

"We are new to the area and make wagons. Would you be interested in buying one? They are --"

"How much?"

"Three gold pieces, with half of the --"

"Is that it out there?" Illapu asked while pointing through the wide door of his stable, which was open.

"Yes, it is."

"I'll give you two."

"We have to cover our costs!"

"It is not worth more than two gold pieces to me."

Mark interrupted. "What about two gold and twelve silvers?" He should have thought about how the society loved barter.

David added his own reasoning. "We had already done most of the bartering for you to deliver it at the best price possible."

"I could give you two and four. No more than that."

David and Mark looked at each other for a moment before David told Illapu, "I'll have to think about it. That may not cover my costs. If we can manage it, I'll be back."

"Have a good day."

"Thanks, you too."

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