"In the case at bar, the goods were transported over the defendants' road, and were safely deposited in their merchandise depot, ready for delivhousemen, in case the goods are destroyed by an accidental fire, while in their possession.1 But after the refusal of the conery to the plaintiff, of which he had notice, and were in fact in part taken away by him; the residue, a portion of which was afterwards lost, being left there for his convenience. No agreement was made for the storage of the goods, and no further compensation paid therefor; the sum paid being the freight for carriage, which was payable if the goods had been delivered to the plaintiff immediately on the arrival of the cars, without any storage. Upon these facts, we are of opinion, for the reasons before stated, that the duty of the defendants, as common carriers, had ceased on their safe deposit of the plaintiff's goods in the merchandise depot; and that they were then responsible only as depositaries without further charge, and consequently, unless guilty of negligence in the want of ordinary care in the custody of the goods, they are not liable to the plaintiff for the alleged loss of a part of the goods.
"This view, which we have taken of the relation of the defendants to the plaintiff, as common carriers in the transportation of his goods, and as the depositaries of them when stored in their warehouse, and the distinct liabilities arising out of these different relations, is fully justified by the decision of the Court of King's Bench, in the case of Garside v. Proprietors of Trent & Mersey Nav., 4 T. R. 581. In that case, the defendants were common carriers between Stourport and Manchester. The plaintiff's goods were taken at Stourport to be carried to Manchester, and from Manchester, by another carrier, to Stockport; and, by agreement, they were to be kept in the defendants' warehouse, without charge, and to be kept till called for by the carrier for Stockport. A parcel of the plaintiff's goods, whilst thus stored, after being transported by the defendants from Stourport to Manchester for the plaintiff, were accidentally burned with the warehouse, and the plaintiff brought his action to recover the value of them of the defendants, charging them as common carriers. But the court were clearly of opinion, that the duties of the defendants, as common earners, were ended on the storing of the goods, and that they then stood in the situation only of warehousemen, and were therefore not liable for the loss of the goods. Buller, J., remarked, that 'the keeping of the goods in the warehouse is not for the convenience of the carrier, but of the owner of the goods; for when the voyage to Manchester is performed, it is the interest of the carrier to get rid of them directly; and it was only because there was no person ready at Manchester to receive these goods, that the defendants were obliged to keep them.' And so in the case at bar, the plaintiff, who lived in a neighboring town, was not ready to receive all his goods, and they were left for his convenience, and not for any benefit to the defendants." The same rule was again laid down in Norway Plains Co. v. Boston & Maine Railroad, 1 Gray, signee to receive the goods, the carrier becomes an involuntary bailee, responsible only for reasonable care and caution in respect to the goods.1
1 Stevens v. Boston & Maine Railroad, 1 Gray, 277.
§ 942. Ordinarily, however, unless there be an express custom or usage authorizing a common carrier to store goods in his warehouse, and hold them as bailee, the carrier is bound to deliver the goods to the person to whom they are sent, or to some person authorized to receive them, or at least to give notice2 of their arrival, and to offer to deliver them.3 And in the latter case he would hold the relation of common carrier to the goods until a reasonable time should have elapsed after the notice of their arrival is given to the consignee or his agent.4 But in case of the absence of any person authorized to receive them, or of his refusal or neglect to receive them after reasonable notice, the carrier might store the goods, and in such case he would only have the responsibility of a warehouseman.5 The true test by which to determine whether the carrier is liable as carrier or warehouseman in a case where he stores goods immediately on their arrival, is the contract itself.6 If the contract be to carry to a certain terminus, on arrival there the carrier's responsibility as such would terminate. If it be to deliver to the consignee at a certain terminus or warehouse,
270. See also Farmers' & Mechanics1 Bank v. Champlain Trans. Co., 16 Vt. 52; 18 Vt. 131; 23 Vt. 186; Richards v. The London, etc, Railway, 7 C. B. 839; Michigan Central Railroad Co. v. Ward, 2 Mich. 538; Smith v. Nashua & Lowell Railroad, 7 Fost. 86; Clendaniel v. Tuckerman, 17 Barb. 184.
1 Heugh v. London & North Western Railway Co., Law R. 5 Exch. 51 (1870).
2 See Hyde v. Trent & M. Nav. Co., 5 T. R. 389.
3 Nettles v. South Carolina Railroad, 7 Rich. 190; Rome Railroad Co. v. Sullivan, 14 Ga. 277; Michigan Central Railroad Co. v. Ward, 2 Mich. 538; Crawford v. Clark, 15 I11. 561.
4 Miller v. Steam Nav. Co., 13 Barb. 361; Goold v. Chapin, 10 Barb. 612; Norway Plains Co. v. Boston & Maine Railroad, 1 Gray, 270; Price v. Powell, 3 Comst. 322; Michigan Central Railroad Co. v. Ward, 2 Mich. 538. See Burnell v. New York Cent. R. Co., 45 N. Y. 184 (1871).
5 Clendaniel v. Tuckerman, 17 Barb. 184; Goold v. Chapin, 10 Barb. 612; Ostrander v. Brown, 15 Johns. 39. See Burnell v. New York Cent. R. Co., 45 N. Y. 184 (1871).
6 Farmers' & Mechanics' Rank v. Champlain Trans. Co., 23 Vt. 187 then his responsibility as carrier would seem to exist until reasonable time after notice and offer to deliver. If it be to deliver personally to the consignee, he should so deliver them, if possible, and at all events he would be bound to give notice, and in case he should store the goods, he would be liable as carrier for a reasonable time.1 What the contract is, if unwritten, is a question for the jury to determine.2