Though if an offeree of a bilateral contract should say "I accept the offer," he would not thereafter be allowed to say that his words were not an acceptance because he did not really intend to accept the offer,6 yet where an act is requested by the offeror and performed by the offeree, it may be shown that the performance of the act did not indicate assent to the offer. Even though the offeree knew of the offer, he has a right, if he chooses to do the act requested and still refuse to accept the offer. Thus in case of an offer of reward for the finding of a watch, the finder may state that though he returns the watch, he does not accept the offer. And even though he makes no such express disclaimer, it is still true that the finding and return of the watch is an ambiguous act which may mean assent to the offer, or which may mean merely that the finder is sufficiently honest to return property which does not belong to him without desiring a reward. The act may mean either of these things. If in a particular case it indicates assent to the offer, there is a contract; but it may be evident, when all the facts are known, that the act did not mean assent to the offer. In that event there is no contract.7 And similarly if the language in an offer for a bilateral contract is ambiguous, it may be shown that what is apparently an acceptance in terms is not a real acceptance and no contract has been formed.8
2See infra, Sec. 90.
3See supra, Sec.20.
4Felthouse v. Bindley, 11 C. B. (N. S.) 869; Preecott v. Jones, 60 N. H. 305, 41 Atl. 352.
5 Cavanaugh v. D. W. Ranlet Co., 229 Mass. 366; 118 N. E. 650, and see infra, Sec. 91a.
6 See infra, Sec.Sec. 94, 95, 1535-1537.