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neighbor's property. Then it might be negligent in him te build a fire to burn brush anywhere, or he may build it of par. ticularly inflammable and therefore dangerous material, or in a very dry time, or in a high wind, or too large a fire, or without watching it with the care that such a fire required to be reason. ably safe. If he were sued for the damage it would be for a jury to determine, under the direction of the court as to the lar whether he was liable, and if so for how much. The coint would instruct the jury that the builder of the fire was not liable if he built it on his own land, unless there were circumstances of some kind which satisfied them that he had been in some way negligent, and that the damage was directly due to his negligence. Then would come the question, which is often very difficult because it must be answered by a well established rule, applicable not only to fire but in a great variety of cases, but which it is often very difficult to apply. This rule is that a wrong doer is always answerable for all the immediate or direct effects of his wrong-doing, but not further. If we apply this rule to a case of fire, the man who built one or tended one negligently would be answerable to his neighbor not only for a shed that caught, but for his dwelling-house, though that stood at some distance, if it caught fire from the shed. But he would not be answerable to a more distant person whose house caught firefrom the first house. The reason of the rule is obvious. If the builder of the fire were answerable for the second house, why not for the third which caught from the second, and why not for a whole city ?
It is plain that there must be some limit to a wrong-doer's liability for the consequences of his wrong-doing. It must stop somewhere. If the man whose house or store is burned down becomes thereby insolvent, no one would say that the man who set the fire, however willfully or negligently, should be answer. able to this insolvent's creditors for what they lose by him. As this man's liability must stop somewhere, the law says it stops with the direct and immediate consequences of his wrong-doing, leaving it to a court and jury to determine what damages were direct and immediate, and what were only remote and consequential.
Farm buildings are sometimes destroyed by fire caught from
railroad cars. The railroad companies are of course liable for all damage caused thereby if the fire arose from any fault of theirs or of persons employed by them. It would be the fault of the companies if they neglected to use known and entirely practicable precautions. Whether they would be answerable if wholly free from negligence and default cannot be answered from any ascertained and uniform law. Generally we think they would be answerable. In some States this is provided by stat
We have in this country no game laws but such as are intended to preserve from wasteful destruction animals valuable for food or otherwise useful. It is a pity we have not more laws for this purpose, and that they are not better observed. Game animals which existed in great abundance almost everywhere in this country some years ago are now scarce everywhere, and in some regions destroyed, by the indiscriminate slaughter which has long prevailed.
A wild animal, whether beast, bird, or fish, belongs to nobody, and everyone may catch or kill it who can. But here again comes this question of the right to go upon the land. The wild birds on my farm are not mine. I have no better right to shoot or snare them than another. But no man has any more right to come on my land without my permission, to share or shoot them, than for any other purpose. That is to say, he has no right at all. If a man stands in a road adjoining my farm and shoots a bird which is coming on my land I cannot say that he does me any wrong.
But if the bird falls over the line he has no right to step a foot on my land to get the bird, and if he does so he is a trespasser.
It is common in some parts of our country to see signboards set up on the roadside, giving notice "no shooting allowed on these premises.” The only practical meaning or effect of such notices is, that while one who walks peacefully over the land will not be prosecuted, one who shoots upon the land will be. But he cannot be prosecuted for shooting there or for killing wild animals there, but for being there without leave, that
is, for trespassing on the land. So the owner of the farm does not own the fish in his ponds or streams until he catches them, but no stranger has any right to come over his land to his grounds. If such ponds or streams reach a highway any man may stand in the highway and fish for them.
An animal that was originally wild, after it is caught and tamed is, with its progeny, as much property as a domestic animal.
They are as much the property of their owner as anything else which he owns. A farmer has certain rights to them and certain liabilities for them.
No one has a right to kill or injure them. If his neighbor's cattle trespass on his land he may impound them, being very careful to follow exactly the requirements of the law, for his ignorance or carelessness here may get him into trouble. Perhaps the difficulty or danger of making use of a remedy which may so easily be mistaken is one cause why impounding is not now so often resorted to as formerly. But the farmer whose land cattle trespass on may turn them into the road to go where they will. A kind regard for his neighbor would prompt him to give his neighbor such information as would enable him to recover his cattle, unless, indeed, they were notoriously breachy and theis owner had been warned often enough. But one who turns them from his own land into the road is not bound to give this notice. For everyone who owns cattle is bound to keep them at home or suffer the consequences.
So it would be as to sheep, goats, swine, etc. As to hens, they cannot be impounded. Of course they can be driven away, but they must not be shot, even if their dead bodies were returned to their owners. It may be doubted, however, whether a jury-who determine all questions of damages in actions of trespass—would give much damage if their owner, who was in the habit of letting them get their food in his neighbor's garden, brought an action when their dead bodies were brought to him.
The owner of domestic animals is liable for any dam
age they cause, and one whose fields they break into may sue for the harm they do.
If he turns his oxen or other animals loose into the public highway, and there they injure anyone in person or property, he is answerable. Nor is it any defense that he did not know that they were particularly dangerous in disposition, nor is it any defense that the animals were not so, because he ought to have kept them at home.
Whether this applies to hens the law has not said that we know of, but it has said so very decidedly as to all four-footed animals, including one of the most troublesome-dogs. As to other animals it is a general rule that the owner of an animal that is kept at home and there injures a person, is not liable unless it can be shown that he had good reason to know that his animal was mischievous and should be kept in such a way that he would be harmless. But all dogs are mischievous by their very nature and their owner is liable for any injury they do and its direct consequences. Anyone may kill any dog who runs at him in the public highway or on his own land in a threaten. ing way, or if he is wounding or chasing cattle or sheep in his own pastures. In States requiring that dogs should be licensed, if they are not licensed they are outlawed, and may be killed anywhere by any person who is where he has a right to be.
SALE WITH WARRANTY OF ANIMALS, OF SEEDS, AND OF FERTILIZERS. In our chapter on sales, section 4, we treat of sales with war. ranty. We would add here some statements of the law which have an especial reference to farmers.
1. OF ANIMALS.-Farmers often buy and often sell animals, and it is important to know when the sale is with war. ranty and when it is not. This is sometimes a difficult question. If the word warranty is used there is no question. But this word is not essential, and if it is not used there may still be a question whether there is a warranty. There is one rule stated in our chapter on sales of frequent importance. It is that if any thing be bought for a special purpose and this purpose is made known to the seller, it is considered in law
that the thing is sold with a warranty that it is fit for that purpose. This rule has been applied to the sale of a horse without express warranty.
Mere statements or declarations in circulars or advertisements, or those made in the course of conversation, would not amount to a warranty even if the buyer relied upon them and was deceived by them. But the law seeks to check the fraud which is often perpetrated in this way by the rule that, if the representations were made in the negotiation for the sale and formed a part of it, if they were intended to cause the sale and did help to cause it, then these representations would be a war. ranty in law with all the effects of a warranty, even if the seller made them honestly.
The warranty may be limited either as to its application or As to time. For example, a horse may be sold with warranty r:gainst lameness or against glanders, and then there would be no warranty against anything else. Or he may be sold with warranty to last only twenty-four hours, as is frequently said at sales of horses by auction. Then the horse must be returned for unsoundness or any other defect, or a claim be made for a breach of warranty within twenty-four hours after the sale.
2. OF SEEDS.—Not only farmers but everyone who has a lot of ground no bigger than a table-cloth, or even dozen flower pots in which he tries to grow flowers or fruit, knows what an annoyance it is to find the seeds he bought and sowed different from what they were bought for, or lifeless or worthless, and t:at season's cultivation lost. Only a farmer knows the extent of the loss which he may suffer from this cause. And here the law comes to his aid, and if farmers generally knew the remedy in their power and applied it generally, it might be hoped that this fraud might be lessened or punished. The rule that anything sold for a special purpose is sold with a warranty that it is fit for that purpose applies here. And it has been decided in some of our States, and we think would now be in all of them, that if a buyer asks a seller for seed of a partic. ular sort or variety and he sells him seed as good seed of that particular sort or variety, and it turns out to be not of that sort or variety but of some other, or dead and worthless, the selles