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STEWART v. WYOMING CATTLE RANCHE COMPANY.

decided: November 19, 1888.

STEWART
v.
WYOMING CATTLE RANCHE COMPANY.



ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA.

Author: Gray

[ 128 U.S. Page 383]

 MR. JUSTICE GRAY delivered the opinion of the court.

The original action was brought by the Wyoming Cattle Ranche Company, a British corporation, having its place of business at Edinburgh in Scotland, against John T. Stewart, a citizen of Iowa. The petition contained two counts.

The first count alleged that in July, 1882, the defendant, owning a herd of cattle in Wyoming Territory, and horses going with that herd, and all branded with the same brand, and also 80 shorthorn bulls, and 700 head of mixed yearlings, offered to sell the same with other personal property for the sum of $400,000; and at the same time represented to the plaintiff and its agent, that there had already been branded 2800 calves as

[ 128 U.S. Page 384]

     the increase of the herd for the current season, and that the whole branding of calves and increase of the herd for that season would amount to 4000, and that, exclusive of the branding for that year, the herd consisted of 15,000 head of cattle, and that there were 150 horses running with it and branded with the same brand; that had the representation that 2800 calves had been branded been true, it was reasonable from that fact to estimate that the whole branding for that year would be 4000 head, and that the whole herd, exclusive of the increase for that year was 15,000 head; that the defendant, when he made these representations, knew that they were false and fraudulent, and made them for the purpose of deceiving the plaintiff and its agent, and of inducing the plaintiff to purchase the herd; and that the plaintiff, relying upon the representations, and believing them to be true, purchased the herd and paid the price.

The second count alleged that the defendant had failed to deliver the bulls and yearlings as agreed.

At the trial the following facts were proved: The defendant, being the owner of a ranche with such a herd of cattle, gave in writing to one Tait the option to purchase it and them at $400,000, and wrote a letter to Tait describing all the property, and gave him a power of attorney to sell it. He also wrote a letter describing the property to one Majors, a partner of Tait. A provisional agreement for the sale of the property, referring to a prospectus signed at the same time, was made by Tait with the plaintiff in Scotland, a condition of which was that a person to be appointed by the plaintiff should make a favorable report. One Clay was accordingly appointed, and went out to Wyoming and visited the ranche; certain books and schedules made by one Street, the superintendent of the ranche, were laid before him; and he and the defendant rode over the ranche together for several days.

Clay testified that, in the course of his interviews with the defendant, the latter made to him the false representations alleged in the petition, and requested him to rely on these representations, and not to make inquiries from the foreman and other persons; and that, relying on the representations,

[ 128 U.S. Page 385]

     he made a favorable report to the plaintiff, which thereupon completed the purchase. The plaintiff also introduced evidence tending to prove the other allegations in the petition. The defendant testified that he never made the representations alleged.

The jury returned a general verdict for the plaintiff in the sum of $55,000, upon which judgment was rendered, and the defendant sued out this writ of error.

No exception was taken to the judge's instructions to the jury upon the second count. The only exceptions contained in the bill of exceptions anowed by the judge, and relied on at the argument, were to the following ...


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