16. An offer is made when it is communicated to the offeree.
It is plain that without communication of the offer there can be no consensus, and therefore no contract.
Thus, in the case of an offer of a promise for an act, if the offeree does the act in ignorance of the offer, he is not entitled to the benefit of the promise. It is for this reason that a person who does an act for which a reward is offered, in ignorance of the offer, cannot claim the reward.24
Again, if a person does work for another under such circumstances that it could not reasonably be supposed that he meant to work for nothing, the doing of the work is an offer, and acquiescence in its doing may be an acceptance. But if the offer is not communicated to the person to whom it is intended to be made, there can be no acquiescence.
Thus, where a person who had been engaged to command a ship threw up his command during the voyage, but helped to work the vessel home, and then claimed compensation for such services, it was held that he could not recover.25 Evidence "of a recognition or acceptance of services," it was said, "may be sufficient to show an implied contract to pay for them, if at the time the defendant had power to accept or refuse the services;" but in this case the defendant never had such an option, and repudiated the services when he became aware of them. The offer, not having- been communicated to the owner of the vessel, did not admit of acceptance, and could give no rights against him. As said in the case mentioned: "Suppose I clean your property without you knowledge, have I then a claim on you for payment? How can you help it? One cleans another's shoes; what can the other do but put them on? Is that evidence of a contract to pay for the cleaning? "
See "Work and Labor," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 7; Cent. Dig. §§ 11 1/2-22; "Contracts," Cent. Dig. § 180.
22As to the sufficiency of the evidence to show that there was a contract, see Pritchard v. Pritchard, 69 Wis. 373, 34 N. W. 506; McMillan v. Page, 71 Wis. 655, 38 N. W. 173; Shane v. Smith, 37 Kan. 55, 14 Pac. 477; Petty v. Young, 43 N. J. Eq. 654, 12 Atl. 392; Appeal of Lindsey (Pa.) 15 Atl. 434; Doremus v. Lott, 49 Hun, 284, 1 N. Y. Supp. 793; Hill v. Hill, 121 Ind. 255, 23 N. E. 87; Hogg v. Laster, 56 Ark. 382, 19 S. W. 975; Henzler's Estate v. Bossard, 6 Ind. App. 701, 33 N. E. 217; Zimmerman v. Zimmerman, 129 Pa. 229, 18 Atl. 129, 15 Am. St. Rep. 720; Havens v. Havens, 50 Hun, 605, 3 N. Y. Supp. 219; Spitzmiller v. Fisher, 77 Iowa, 289, 42 N. W. 197; Ellis v. Cary, 74 Wis. 176, 42 N. W. 252, 4 L. R. A. 55, 17 Am. St. Rep. 125; Davis v. Gallagher, 55 Hun, 593, 9 N. Y. Supp. 11; Kirkpatrick v. Gallagher, 34 S. C. 255, 13 S. E. 450; McCormick v. McCormick, 1 Ind. App. 594, 28 N. E. 122; Story v. Story, 1 Ind. App. 284, 27 N. E. 573; Stock v. Stoltz, 137 111. 349, 27 N. E. 604; Wayman v. Wayman (Ky.) 22 S. W. 557; O'Kelly v. Faulkner, 92 Ga. 521, 17 S. E. 847. See "Executors and Administrators" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 221; Cent. Dig. §§ 1858-1876; "Work and Labor," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 28; Cent. Dig. §§ 17, 55.
23 Huffman v. Wyrick, 5 Ind. App. 183, 31 N. E. 823. See "Work and Labor," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 7; Cent. Dig. §§ 11 1/2-22; "Contracts," Cent. Dig. § 130. 24 Post, p. 49.