A Deal is Struck at Lintin, Shi Shubao becomes a Translator
In the sixth month of the fifteenth year of Daoguang (June of 1835), Shi Hou decided that transporting the opium himself was too inconvenient, and contrived the idea of enticing the foreign boats to come anchor off the Fujian coast and sell opium. He shared the idea with Shi Shubao, and each invested 1,600 in silver taels.
They brought the money to Lintin near Macao and gave it to the foreigners Big and Little Li, who had set a price of 480 taels of silver per chest (each containing 40 bricks of opium). Shi Hou and the others handed over their 3,200 taels, and began trying to figure out how to transport and sell the opium.
Big and Little Li had just then purchased a lorcha, and they invited on two other Chinese middlemen (Chen A-Tiao and Yang Ming) who were just then thinking of starting a business. When Wang Mazhi heard about this, he too bought a large amount of opium and hired Chen A-Tiao to rent a “Redhead Boat” [a boat from Chaozhou, in Guangdong Province] and travel along with the others up the coast.
Shi Shubao, due to prolonged interaction with foreigners, gradually learned to speak and comprehend the foreign language. He became intimately acquainted with the Macao-born red-hair foreigners Big and Little Li.
Source: Junji chu Hanwen lufu zouzhe (Grand Council Chinese-Language Palace Memorial Copies, often cited as LFZZ), Beijing: First Historical Archives, 03–4007–048, DG 18.10.29.