This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
What is a reasonable time for performance is a question of fact to be determined as a fact, in view of the circumstances of the case.1 Accordingly if an action is brought on an agreement to accept a conveyance and in consideration thereof to execute a written contract to pay a certain mortgage, and to reconvey on payment of the amount of such mortgage, and the defense is that plaintiff delayed an unreasonable time before performing the conditions precedent on his part to be performed, it is not error for the court to refuse to charge that a delay of four months would be unreasonable.2 On the other hand, a notice for performance in eighty days, given to the vendor, followed by demand for performance in five days, followed by a delay of six weeks before bringing a suit for specific performance, has been held as a fact to give to the vendor a reasonable time for performance.3 In many cases it has been said that this question is one of law,4 where the essential facts are not in dispute.5 This, however, means nothing more than that if this fact, like any other fact, is either conceded by the parties to exist or is established by uncontradicted evidence, it cannot be said to be a fact in issue, to he decided as the facts in issue are decided.
67 Md. 554; 11 Atl. 176; Edwards v. Seaboard R. Co., 121 N. C. 490; 28 S. E. 137; Martin v. New York L. Ins. Co., 148 N. Y. 117; 42 N. E. 416; Copp v. Colorado Coal & I. Co., 46 N. Y. Supp. 542; 20 Misc. 702; Christensen v. Borax Co., 26 Or. 302; 38 Pac. 127; Kirk v. Hartman, 63 Pa. St. 97; Booth v. National India-Rubber Co., 19 R. I. 696; 36 Atl. 714; Prentiss v. Ledyard, 28 Wis. 131.
26 Greer v. Mfg. Co., 1 Penn. (Del.) 581; 43 Atl. 609.
27 Yellow Poplar Lumber Co. v. Rule, 106 Ky. 455; 50 S. W. 685. So under a contract whereby A agrees to employ B as long as A shall make use of B's patents. Raymond v. White, 119 Mich. 438; 78 N. W. 469.
1 Drake v. Goree, 22 Ala. 409; Watts v. Sheppard, 2 Ala. 425; Campbell v. Heney, 128 Cal. 109; 60 Pac. 532; Jenkins v. Lykes, 19 Fla. 148; 45 Am. Rep. 19; Morrison v. Wells, 48 Kan. 494; 29 Pac. 601; Elder v. Rourke, 27 Or. 363; 41 Pac. 6; Hays v. Hays, 10 Rich. L. (S. C.) 419; Boyington v. Sweeney, 77 Wis. 55; 45 N. W. 938.
2 Peabody v. Fellows, 181 Mass. 26; 62 N. E. 1053.
3 Harding v. Olson. 177 111. 298; 52 N. E. 482; affirming 76 111. App. 475.