3 L. R. A. 94; Tibbs v. Zirkle, 55 W. Va. 49, 46 S. E. 701,104 Am. St. Rep. 977; Reuse v. Kittle, 56 W. Va. 269, 49 8. E. 150; Pyle p. Henderson, 65 W. Va. 39,63 S. E. 762; Peterson v. Cham, 115 Wis. 239, 91 N. W. 687; Frank v. Stratford-Handcock, 13 Wyo. 37, 77 Pao. 134, 67 L. R. A. 571, 119 Am. St. Rep. 963; Mueller v. Nortman, 116 Wis. 468, 93 N. W. 538. In Mier v. Hadden, 148 Mich. 488,495, 111 N. W. 1040,118 Am. St. Rep. 586; Ostrander, J., said, "While it may seem at first blush a legal paradox that a contract for the sale of land, mutual and enforceable, can be made when at the time it is claimed to have been made one party to it is openly protesting that he will make no such contract, and while reasons may be advanced to support the proposition that the option holder should be in such a case remitted to an action for damages for refusal to hold the offer open for the stipulated time, there is reason and precedent for holding that the offer to sell, if paid for, may not be withdrawn during the stipulated time, being, in law, a continuing offer to sell." Though such an option to buy land is a contract, it should be observed it is a contract to buy only if the buyer chooses to do so. Accordingly it will not make the buyer in any sense the equitable owner of the property until he exercises his right to buy. Rease v. Kittle, 56 W. Va. 269, 274, 278, 49 S. E. 150. See infra, Sec. 936, also Barton v. Thaw, 246 Pa. 348, 92 Atl. 312. Equity will, however, specifically enforce his right to become owner on acceptance of the option, not only against the original vendor who gave the option, but also against one who purchases the land from the latter with notice of the option. Tibbs v. Zirkle, 55 W. Va. 49, 46 S. E. 701, 104 Am. St. 977; Frank v. Stratford-Handcock, 13 Wyo. 37, 77 Pac. 134, 67 L. R. A. 571,119 Am. St. Rep. 963, and equity will also enjoin a proposed sale by the offeror during the time when he had contracted to hold the offer open. Manchester Ship Canal Co. v. Manchester Racecourse Co.,  2 Ch, D.37.
90 Xenos v. Wickham, L. R,, 2H.L 296; Willard v. Taylor, 8 Wall. 557, 19 L. Ed. 501; Haves v. O'Brien, 149 111. 403, 411, 37 N. E. 73, 23 L. R. A. 555; Adams v. Peabody Coal Co., 230 HI. 469, 82 N. E. 645; Mansfield P. Hodgdon, 147 Mass. 304, 307, 17 N. E. 544; O'Brien v. Boland, 166 Mass. 481, 44 N. E. 602; McMillan v. Ames, 33 Minn. 257, 22 N. W. 612; Barnes v. Res, 219 Pa. 287,68 Atl. 839; Watkins v. Robertson, 105 Va. 269, 54 S. E. 33. But see Cortelyou v. Barna-dall 236 111.138, 86 N. E. 200; Averill v. Boston, 193 Mass. 488,80 N. E. 583; Storch v. Duhnke, 76 Minn. 521, 79 N. W. 533. In Cortelyou v. Barnsdall and Storch v. Duhnke, the court assumed that because a voluntary covenant will not be specifically enforced (see infra, Sec. 1418) an offer under seal might be revoked, but this assumption is unwarranted.
An attempt is sometimes made to make offers binding by some consideration not beneficial to the offeror, but involving a detriment to the offeree in investigating or considering the terms of the offer. In an early case 92 the plaintiff stated as the consideration for a promise by the defendant that the offeree "agreed to keep in consideration the expediency" of accepting the offer. The court stated that in the view taken by them of the case "no importance is attached to the consideration set out" in the plaintiff's pleading; and presumably the mere mental reflection upon the desirability of accepting an offer would be insufficient;93 but a promise to keep an offer open in consideration of an agreement to examine the land, which is the subject-matter of the offer, and to investigate the title, is sufficiently supported.94 The mere fact, however, that
91 Simpson v. Sanders, 130 Ga. 265, 60 S E. 641. Bee also Walker v. Bamberger, 17 Utah, 239, 54 Pac. 108.
92Boston & Maine Railroad v. Bart-lett, 3 Cush. 224.
93 In Sooy v. Winter, 1SS Mo. App. 150, 175 S. W. 132,134, the court said: "Though both Wharton (section 13) and Story, in his work on Sales (section 127], and on Contracts (section 496), materially qualify this rule [of the revocability of an offer], by an argument to the effect that the proposal or offer promised to be kept open for a certain or a reasonable time, the other party agreeing to consider it, itself shows a consideration. The suggestions and illustrations of these learned authors in support of their criticism of the rule are not looked upon with favor. Benjamin on Safes, Sec. 41; Weaver v. Burr, 31 W. Va. 736, 755-758, 8 S. E. 743,3 L. R. A. 94." 94 Weaver v. Burr, 31 W. Va. 736, the offeree incurs detriment by going to expense or trouble in investigating the offer is not sufficient to make it irrevocable since the detriment incurred was not requested by the offeror in return for a promise on his part.95 An attempt is sometimes made to prevent the revocation of an offer by requiring the offeror to deposit money or a check at the time of making the offer. It is evident that tins cannot make the offer irrevocable since the offeror receives no consideration, and the offeree parts with nothing. But if the offeror withdraws his offer, and the understanding of the parties has been made clear that the deposit is to be forfeited if the offer is revoked, the agreed consequence would follow the revocation.96 Most of the decisions, however, in regard to this matter relate to public contracts. Where tenders are made in conformity with certain statutory requirements, such statutes may perfectly well make tenders or offers irrevocable, and equally clearly may subject the deposit or certified check required by the law to be forfeited.97