The advertised time-table of a railroad has been held part of a general offer which becomes binding when accepted by the purchase of a ticket.64 It seems difficult, however, to regard such an advertisement as an offer. There is certainly less reason to regard it as such than an ordinary advertisement of goods for sale.65 The obligation of the railroad to conform to its time-table seems rather due to its obligations as a public service corporation, irrespective of contract, than to an obligation voluntarily assumed. There is no doubt that the carrier must run its trains in conformity with published time-tables so far as circumstances will permit.66 But a railroad company is excused from liability if any cause beyond its control makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult to keep to the published time.67 If, in fact, the time-table were an offer which created a contract with a passenger, the carrier would not thus be excused.68 A clearer case of the confusion
63 Boston Club v. Potter, 212 Mass. 23, 20, 98 N. E. 614. Therefore the resignation of a member in order to free him from liability for future dues, must comply with the terms of the by-law providing for withdrawal. Ibid. See also Finch v. Oake , 1 Ch. 409; People v. New York Motor Boat Club, 129 N. Y. Supp. 366, 70 N. Y. Misc. 603.
64 Denton v. Great Northern Ry., 6 E. A B. 860; Sears v. Eastern R. R. Co., 14 Allen, 433, 92 Am. Deo. 780; Coleman v. Railroad, 138 N. C. 361, 60 S. E. 690.
65 See supra, Sec. 27.
66See cases cited in the preceding and following notes. Also Savannah, etc., R. R. Co. v. Bonaud, 68 Ga. 180; Weed v. Panama R. R-, 17 N. Y. 362, 72 Am. Deo. 474; Van Camp v. Railroad Co., 137 Mich. 467, 100 N. W.
771; Geer v. Michigan Central R. R. Co., 142 Mich. 611, 106 N. W. 72.
67Ohio & M. Ry. Co. v. Attendee, 69 111. App. 620; Wilsey v. R. R. Co., S3 Ky. 611; McClary v. Sioux City R. R. Co., 3 Neb. 44,19 Am. Rep. 631; Gordon v. Manchester &LR.R. Co., 62 N. H. 696; Houston R. R. v. Rogers, 16 Tex. Civ. App. 19, 40 S. W. 201; International ft G. N. R. B Co. p. Harder, 36 Tex. Civ. App. 151, 81 8. W. 356.
68 Even the decisions which assert that the tune-table is an offer, agree that the railroad is not liable if without its fault it cannot conform to the schedule. "The printed schedule is an offer which was accepted by the plaintiff when he asked for a ticket, and he had a legal right to be transported by the first train stopping at Harrisburg. If the train arrives after schedule time of a contractual obligation with one imposed by law irrespective of contract, may be found in a recent English decision,69 where the defendants, who were newspaper proprietors, advertised that they would answer inquiries from readers who desired financial advice. The plaintiff, a reader of the paper, thereupon wrote requesting the name of a good stock broker. The defendants negligently, but honestly, gave the name of one who was not a member of the stock exchange, and who was an undischarged bankrupt. In consequence of this advice the plaintiff lost money. It was held that the defendants had contracted to use reasonable care in answering inquiries. That the defendants should be liable in such a case in an action of tort for negligence seems probable, but it is impossible to find the elements of a contract. The plaintiff was not asked to furnish consideration, and in fact gave none. The statement of the defendants that they would answer inquiries on financial subjects was obviously not made as an offer to contract.70