One of the wealthiest families in Susong County was that of Shi Zanchen. Moreover, Shi had several brothers and each of them was wealthy in his own right.
Susong County had a custom whereby wealthy households, like the Shi family, would set up a meal each day in their outer halls for whoever wished to come and partake. The name granted this custom was simply "the sitting-and-eating banquet."
One day a person by the name of Xu came to eat. He was slightly built and wore a scanty beard. While eating, he pointed at the green hill beyond the gate and said, "Has anyone seen a hill jump before?"
The unanimous reply was, "Never!"
Xu then pointed at the hill three times and the hill did indeed jump three times. His audience was greatly surprised, but even more mystified at Mr. Xu's powers. He was thereafter respectfully called Venerable Master.
One day, Master Xu said to Shi, "Although your family is already very wealthy, I can increase your wealth tenfold by smelting gold from silver with Daoist magic."
The Shi brothers were rather suspicious of his claim but decided they had little to lose, and so they had a furnace built and each contributed several thousand taels of silver hoping to have it transformed into gold. The wife of the second brother was a very sneaky woman and, unknown to the Venerable Master, mixed some copper among the silver. When the fire had burned down to ash, a huge bolt of lightning hit the house with a tremendous crack, smashing several roof tiles.
The Venerable Master cursed. "Somebody must have sneaked fake silver into the furnace. This deception has made the gods extremely angry."
After some discussion the Shis uncovered the wife's trick and their respect for Master Xu's magical powers increased enormously.
Another time the Venerable Master threw a copper basin into midair and shouted, "Come hither, coins!" A coin promptly dropped into the basin. He continued his shouting and soon the air was filled