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One evening, after attending the theater, two gentlemen were walking down the avenue when they observed a rather well dressed and attractive young lady walking ahead of them. One of them turned to the other and remarked, "I'd give $250 to spend the night with that woman."
Much to their surprise, the young lady overheard the remark, turned around, and said, "I'll take you up on that offer."
She had a neat appearance and a pleasant voice, so after bidding his companion good night, the man accompanied the young lady to her apartment.
The following morning the man presented her with $125 as he prepared to leave.
She demanded the rest of the money, stating "If you don't give me the other $125, I'll sue you for it."
He laughed, saying, "I'd like to see you get it on these grounds."
Within a few days, he was surprised when he received a summons ordering his presence in court as a defendant in a lawsuit. He hurried to his lawyer and explained the details of the case.
His lawyer said, "She can't possibly get a judgment against you on such grounds, but it will be interesting to see how her case will be presented."
After the usual preliminaries, the lady's lawyer addressed the court as follows: "Your honor, my client, this lady, is the owner of a piece of property, a garden spot, surrounded by a profuse growth of shrubbery, which property she agreed to rent to the defendant for a specified length of time for the sum of $250. The defendant took possession of the property, used it extensively for the purposes for which it was rented, but upon evacuating the premises, he paid only $125, one-half of the amount agreed upon. The rent was not excessive, since it is restricted property, and we ask judgment be granted against the defendant to assure payment of the balance."
The defendant's lawyer was impressed and amused by the way his opponent had presented the case. His defense therefore was somewhat different from the way he originally planned to present it. "Your honor," he said, "my client agrees that the lady has a fine piece of property, which he did rent such property for a time, and a degree of pleasure was derived from the transaction. However, my client found a well on the property around which he placed his own stones, sunk a shaft, and erected a pump, all labor performed personally by him. We claim these improvements to the property were sufficient to offset the unpaid amount, and that the plaintiff was adequately compensated for the rental of said property. We, therefore, ask that judgment not be granted."
The young lady's lawyer answered, "Your honor, my client agrees that the defendant did find a well on her property. However, had the defendant not known that the well existed; he would never have rented the property. Also, upon evacuating the premises, the defendant removed the stones, pulled out the shaft, and took the pump with him. In doing so, he not only dragged the equipment through the shrubbery, but left the hole much larger than it was prior to his occupancy, making the property much less desirable to others. We, therefore, ask that judgment be granted."
In the Judge's decision, he provided for two options: "Pay the $125 or have the equipment detached from its current location and provide it to the plaintiff for damages."
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