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MOSHER v. ST. LOUIS

decided: May 14, 1888.

MOSHER
v.
ST. LOUIS, IRON MOUNTAIN AND SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY.



ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI.

Author: Gray

[ 127 U.S. Page 393]

 MR. JUSTICE GRAY, after stating the case as above reported, delivered the opinion of the court.

The right of this plaintiff to be carried upon the defendant's train, without paying additional fare, does not depend upon

[ 127 U.S. Page 394]

     his having been received as an ordinary passenger, or upon any representations made by a ticket-seller, conductor or other officer of the company as to his right to use a ticket, but wholly upon the construction and effect of the written contract, signed by him, upon the face of the ticket (of the kind called "tourist's" or "round-trip" tickets) sold him by the defendant for a passage to Hot Springs and back, by which, in consideration of a reduced rate of fare, he agreed to the following terms:

By the fifth condition, the ticket "is not good for return passage unless the holder identifies himself as the original purchaser to the satisfaction of the authorized agent of the Hot Springs Railroad at Hot Springs, Ark., within eighty-five days from date of sale, and when officially signed and dated in ink and duly stamped by said agent this ticket shall then be good only five days from such date."

The clear meaning of this condition is that the ticket shall not be good for a return passage at all, unless, within eighty-five days from its original date, the holder not only identifies himself as the original purchaser to the satisfaction of the agent named, but that agent signs, dates and stamps the ticket; and that, upon such identification and stamping, the ticket shall be good for five days from the new date.

The sixth condition, by which the ticket is to be void if the plaintiff does not sign his name and otherwise identify himself, whenever calle dupon so to do by any conductor or agent of either of the lines over which he may pass, is evidently intended as an additional precaution against a transfer of the ticket either in going or in returning, and not as an alternative or substitute for the previous condition to the validity of the ticket for a return trip.

The twelfth condition states that the plaintiff understands and expressly agrees that no agent or employe of any of the lines has any power to alter, modify, or waive any of the conditions of the contract.

By the express contract between the parties, therefore, the plaintiff had no right to a return passage under the ticket, unless it bore the stamp of the agent at Hot Springs. Such a

[ 127 U.S. Page 395]

     stamp was made by the contract a condition precedent to the right to a return passage, and no agent or employe of the defendant was authorized to waive that condition.

The plaintiff contends that, as there was no agent at the office at Hot Springs, to whose satisfaction he could identify himself, and by whom he could have his ticket stamped, when he presented himself with his ticket at that office, within a reasonable time before he took the return train, he had the right to be carried from Hot Springs to St. Louis under his ticket, without having it stamped, and may therefore maintain this action against ...


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