after stating the case: The Court, among other tilings, charged the jury as follows:
“The Court further charges you that where a servant does a wrong to a third person, the master must answer for the act if it was committed in the scope and course of the servant’s employment and in furtherance of the master’s interests.”
This is a correct general principle which has been frequently applied to different cases in this and other jurisdictions, and on the facts disclosed by the testimony is as favorable as plaintiff had any right to ask. Jackson v. Telegraph Co., 139 N. C., 347; Pierce v. Railroad, 124 N. C., 83.
*179And. the charge of the Court below in giving the defendant's prayer for instructions, while not under all circumstances a definite or precise test of responsibility, as applied to the facts of this ease, is in accord with the best-considered decisions. Palmer v. Railway, 131 N. C., 250. Nor was any error committed in refusing plaintiff’s prayers for instructions. They all embody the idea that if the assault was committed by Bradley while engaged in the performance of his duties, the company is, in any event, responsible. The Court is confirmed in this interpretation of the prayers by the statement in the brief of plaintiff’s attorney in- connection with them, as follows:
“We think that the ti*ue test is whether or not Bradley was still engaged in and about the duties pertaining to his position when the assault was committed.”
And we hold that this is not the correct principle. The test is not whether the act was done while Bradley was on duty or engaged in his duties; but was it done within the scope of his employment and in the prosecution and furtherance of the business which was given him to do ?
As held in Sawyer v. Railroad, at the present term, quoting from Wood on Master and Servant, sec. 307: “The simple test is whether they were acts within the scope of his employment — not whether they were done while prosecuting the master’s business, but whether they were done by the servant in furtherance thereof, and were such as may be fairly said to be authorized by him. By authorized is not meant authority expressly conferred; but whether the act was such as was incident to the performance of the duties intrusted to him by the master, even though in opposition to his express and written orders.”
And again from the same author, at sec. 288:
“An employer who leaves to an employee to do certain acts for him according to the employee’s judgment and dis*180cretion is answerable for the manner or occasion of doing it, provided it is done bona fide and within the scope of the servant’s express or implied authority, and not from mere caprice or wantonness and wholly outside of the duties conferred upon him.”
The distinction here dwelt upon is very well stated in Mott v. Ice Co., 73 N. Y., 543, as follows: “Eor the acts of a servant in the general scope of his employment, while engaged in his master’s business, and done with a view to the furtherance of that business and the master’s interests, the latter is responsible, whether the act be done negligently, wantonly, or even wilfully. The quality of the act does not excuse. But if the employee, without regard to his service, or to accomplish some purpose of his own, act maliciously or wantonly, the employer is not responsible.” And the general doctrine on the subject is fully considered in the case of Daniel v. Railroad, 136 N. C., 527.
The error in plaintiff’s position, as contained in the prayers for instructions, is that they mate the responsibility depend on whether the act was done by Bradley, the yardmaster, while engaged in his duties, and leave entirely out of consideration the questions whether the act was done in the scope of Bradley’s employment and in prosecution and furtherance of the powers entrusted to him, and whether it was not an independent tort on the part of Bradley; in which case, the employer is not responsible. Jaggard, vol. 1, p. 279. The same author says, at p. 279: “The question of what is or is not an independent tort of the servant cannot, it seems, be referred to any definite rule, but is ordinarily a question of fact for the jury.”
Applying these rules to the facts of the case before us, there has been no error committed which gives the plaintiff any ground of complaint.
While the testimony differs considerably on the merits of the controversy as between plaintiff and Bradley, there is no *181substantial difference as to the facts which do or do not tend to inculpate the defendant company.
Both plaintiff and defendant testify that the conduct of plaintiff in changing, or failing to change, the switch had passed at the time of the quarrel. Whether plaintiff went into the office and Bradley afterwards came in, or Bradley went into the office and was later followed by plaintiff, does not affect the question in this aspect of the case. Both statements show that the conduct of plaintiff about the switch as a physical act was a closed incident; and that at the time Bradley was neither directing plaintiff about his work nor giving him instructions about it for the future; nor even physically correcting him about it in the past. It was simply a quarrel that two employees had about a past event, in which Bradley was clearly acting of his own mind and will as an independent agent, and in which plaintiff is not at all free from fault.
There is no error, and the judgment below is affirmed.