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.
One who agrees to do a specific act which can, without violating the terms of the contract, be performed in one of two ways, is not discharged from his contract because one of the two methods of performance becomes impossible.1 Thus one who agrees to remove oats within a certain time is not discharged by the fact that it is impossible to remove them by boat where they could have been removed in some other way.2 So where A agrees to remove, reconstruct, and rebuild a schoolhouse, and under the terms of the contract the house can be removed, either as a complete building or can be torn down and the materials used to rebuild another schoolhouse, the fact that the house is blown down by a storm and cannot be removed as a complete building does not discharge the contract.3
6 Fuller v. Ins. Co., 184 Mass. 12; 67 N. E. 879.
7 Pratt v. Mfg. Co., 115 Wis. 648; 92 N. W. 368.
8 Morley v. Power, 10 Lea (Tenn.) 219. Compare Rudy v. School District, 30 Mo. App. 113, where it was held that the defense that not enough had been paid into the treasury was insufficient as the only defense was that not enough funds were provided.
9 Notice by vendee in an executory contract to vendor. Hobbs v. Brick Co., 157 Mass. 109; 31 N. E. 756.
10 See Sec. 1436 et seq.
1 Board of Education v. Town-send, 63 O. S. 514; 52 L. R. A. 868; 59 N. E. 223; reversing, 15 Ohio C. C. 674.
2 Adams v. Ames, 19 Wash. 425; 53 Pac. 546 (where the contract contained a proviso " wind, tide and other acts of God permitting").