Creating an Industrial Empire in 19th Century Parallel World -
Chapter 16 Big Day For The Axelsen & Nielsen Air Brake Company
Poul returned to the factory and made his way up to the office. Upon opening the door, he saw Morgan and Jonathan shaking hands.
Morgan and Jonathan were startled at his sudden entrance.
"Oww…what did I miss? Why are you two shaking hands?" Poul tilted his head to the side.
"Because Poul, we revised the deal you made with Mister Morgan," Jonathan began to explain.
"What are the changes?" Poul added. "Because I'm pretty sure that three hundred thousand dollars are a good deal."
"It was a good deal, Poul," Morgan stepped in. "The problem is that you failed to see the greater potential of your company. If you were listening in on the discussion earlier with your customers, you would know what I mean."
"We are to build ten thousand air brakes and locomotive draft gear, Poul. Three hundred thousand dollars is not enough to build the required facilities to match the demand," Jonathan added.
"Okay," Poul raised both of his hands concededly. "I made a mistake and I acknowledge it. Well, I did see the potential of our company but who knew it would be so very great that I miscalculated it. So how much was changed?"
"Six hundred thousand dollars for ten percent of the company," Jonathan answered.
"So it's doubled? Great," Poul clapped his hands. "We can do more with that money. I will have to check that document later."
Poul shot a pointed glance at the document on the table. Jonathan looked at it and figured that Poul wanted to see the business plan of the company.
"I will meet you two again tomorrow for the contract signing," Morgan placed his top hat on top of his head.
"Do you want me to escort you out, Mister Morgan?" Poul offered.
"No. You have more important things to do than seeing me out. Like discussing with your partner the direction of your company. And also, this is a suggestion, don't keep something out of your partner. Transparency and communication is the key to a successful business."
After saying that, Morgan left the office, leaving the two alone.
Hearing his footsteps gradually disappear, Poul began.
"I got to say, he had a point. You shouldn't keep something from me, especially if it's related to business."
Jonathan grabbed the business plan document and handed it to Poul apologetically.
"I apologize, it's just that I can't bother you when I was working with that."
"What do you mean?" Poul asked after receiving the document.
"You were busy walking through the process of making air brakes and locomotive draft gear with the workers. Also, most of the time, you are down there making it together. I can't disturb you. I'm just making myself useful by doing this."
Poul laughed softly. "What are you talking about? Why are you making yourself sound like a burden even though you are not? Look, we have different skill sets and we are the best at it. I know you wanted to contribute but it's not your specialty. However, I won't be able to make those things without your help. For example, who designed the factory?"
Poul placed a hand on Jonathan's shoulder. "Look men, it's us against the world here. The best we can do is to help each other up. How many times did I say that you'll have your moment?"
Jonathan removed Poul's hand from his shoulder. "I'm not used to this dramatic kind of conversation. Let's just move on and be happy that we got our orders."
Poul smiled. "You're right," and he proceeded to check the business plan.
"This is a really nice detailed business plan…So I'd say that the pitch was a success and received bulk orders. Why don't we celebrate with our workers in the bar across the street?"
"As much as we deserve to celebrate, we have to finalize their orders first into a formal paper. That means, we will have to stay all night writing documents and setting up terms of the contract," Jonathan said.
"Ugh…what a pain in the ass…Let's get it started then.
A day later, the three railroad magnates were signing off documents, officially finalizing their orders of retrofitting their trains with air brakes and locomotive draft gears.
Morgan was also there, and the last person to sign a contract with Poul and Jonathan. Once it was finished, a photographer carrying a daguerreotype camera, entered the office and set it up in the middle.
While the photographer was prepping up the camera, Poul, Jonathan, Morgan, and the three railroad magnates arranged themselves at pleasure and waited for the signal of the photographer.
"Okay, I want you all to stand still for twenty seconds and look at the camera."
The men did as they were told. For twenty seconds, they stand still, looking at the camera. The moment the photographer knew that they were free of movement, he took a picture accompanied by a flash of light.
"Okay, it's done. I will deliver a copy of your image to your household within two weeks. Thank you for your patronage."
After saying that, the photographer left the office, leaving the group in the office. Jonathan and Poul shook the hands of their customers, and investors before seeing them out of the factory.
The magnates boarded their respective horse-drawn carriages, and they left as soon as everything was ready.
Morgan was the last person to board the carriage, making Poul and Jonathan wonder why.
"Is there something you would like to discuss with us, Mister Morgan, before you go?" Poul asked politely.
"I'll be keeping an eye on you two," Morgan said. "I invested six hundred thousand dollars in your company so make sure you use it well."
"Investing such a large amount of money means you'll also help us with our venture, right? Because you don't want it to go to waste." Jonathan said.
"I will suggest your products to my associates who are working in the railroad industry. And if you need help with your finances, or want some tips. Feel free to reach out. We are partners after all," Morgan said.
"We'll keep that in mind, Mister Morgan. Thank you very much," the two bowed politely at him.
Morgan struck a nod before boarding his carriage. The two watched as Mister Morgan's carriage disappeared into the distance.
"Jonathan?" Poul said.
"Poul?" Jonathan replied.
"Now that we sealed the deal with them, can we celebrate now?"
"You may now call them," Jonathan permitted.
Jonathan was on the piano, brushing his hands over the keys as he looked at the sheet music lying on top of the music desk. He glanced over his shoulder and saw Poul huddled together with ten workers who were holding a mug of beer in their hands.
Poul gave him a prompting nod, signaling him to start hitting the keys so they could sing.
Those who weren't huddled with Poul were sitting at a table, sipping their beers paid for by the company itself. Not only that, but the company also rented the place exclusively for them to celebrate the initial success of the company.
Jonathan nodded and began pressing keys and Poul and along with his workers started singing.
"When Johnny comes marching home again, Hurrah! Hurrah!"
"We'll give him a hearty welcome then, Hurrah! Hurrah!"
"Oh, the men will cheer and the boys will shout. The ladies, they will all turn out!"
"And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home!"
"And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home!"
Their hearty voices filled the bar with joy as they revel in the success of their enterprise. They cheered, swaying their bodies along to the music, and waving mugs of alcohol while singing.
Some people danced around and others were drinking away, tapping the tables to complement the tune. The atmosphere was boisterous and they were enjoying themselves.
"And we'll all drink stone wine when Johnny comes marching home!"
"And we'll all drink stone wine when Johnny comes marching hooooooooooome!"
Ending the music with applause, everyone stood up and began clapping enthusiastically while cheering loudly.
Poul broke off from the huddle and swirled lithely around as he faced the workers.
"That was magnificent everyone! That's a good song," Poul said, chugging his mug of beer before speaking again. "Well, drink to your heart's content. The food is also covered by the company so eat whatever you like."
The workers roared in response, raising their mugs.
"Tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, we will return to work again. So enjoy yourselves this day as there won't be another one sometime in the future…unless we land another major contract!"
The workers cheered in joy again.
"Let's sing another song again!" Poul shouted.
They raised their mugs again, shouting, "Hurrah!"
(A.N notes: If you are interested in the song, you can search for it on youtube. The title is when Johnny comes marching home. The meaning of gay in the lyrics is carefree, cheerful, or bright and showy. It is in no way related to modern usage to define a person's gender.)
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