Tbe plaintiff paid the usual and customary fare for bis ticket, and was granted no right or privilege in consideration of a reduced rate.
Under these circumstances, the ticket was in the nature of a receipt for the passage money, and its office was to furnish evidence to the agents of the company that the bearer was entitled to be carried.
It was. prima fade evidence that the holder had paid the regular price for it, and had the right to be transported, and was evidence of an agreement on the part of the defendant to carry him to his destination for a consideration paid. 1 Fet. Cor., sec. 275; Boyd v. Spencer, 103 Ga., 146.
The plaintiff performed his part, of the contract and was entitled to a valid ticket, and in the absence of evidence of assent on his part prior to or at the time of the purchase, was not bound by a stipulation rendering the ticket invalid, as there was no consideration to support the stipulation.
The Supreme Court of Tennessee, speaking of this question in R. R. v. Turner, 100 Tenn., 223, says: “¥e are also of opinion that the mere stamping or printing of a limitation or condition upon the back or face of a ticket, and the acceptance of such ticket by a passenger, without more, is not sufficient to bind him to such condition or limitation, in the absence of actual notice to him of such condition or limitation and his assent thereto when he purchases the ticket. It cannot be presumed that every person buying a railroad ticket, for ordinary and general use, will, in the hurry and bustle of travel, stop to read and critically inspect his ticket. As a matter of fact, but little opportunity is afforded him to do so. He generally takes his place in the crowd at the ticket window, produces and hands over his money with a request for a ticket to destination. His money is received. The ticket is produced, and, after being stamped, is handed to him through the ticket window. He has had no opportunity to see what is upon it, and has no time, in the rush, to stop and read and consider what may be printed or stamped on its face or back, and when he has paid full fare there is no occasion for his doing so, inasmuch as he can safely *336rely upon the contract which the law makes for him. Ordinarily local tickets do not generally contain any terms of contract, and are not intended to do so. They are mere tokens to the passenger and vouchers for the conductor, adopted for convenience to show that the passenger has paid his fare from one place to another, very much in the nature of baggage checks. The contract is in fact made when the ticket is purchased, and if it is different from what the law would imply, it must be so stated and assented to when the ticket is delivered.' . . . This rule, which we consider to be settled by the weight of authority and by reason, by no means prevents a railroad com.pany from selling special tickets for special trains with limitations and conditions, such as excursion, round-trip, commutation, and mileage tickets, when the conditions and limitations are known to the purchaser and assented to by him orally or in writing, and he has paid for such ticket less than the usual fare: When tickets are sold at reduced rates, it has been very wisely said that the purchaser should, in consideration of such reduced fare or greater privileges, expect and look for some conditions, limitations, and terms different from those attaching to tickets generally, and be on his guard to become informed of them. But there is no such obligation upon the ordinary passenger, who pays the usual or full fare and asks for no reduced rates or special privileges, and he has a right to expect an unlimited ticket.”
We quote at length from the opinion because the rule with its limitation is stated clearly and accurately.
Nor was there anything on the ticket to notify the plaintiff or to indicate to him that he was entering into a contract by which the ticket delivered to him would be invalid if the station at which it was issued was not stamped on the back, and while common carriers may make reasonable rules and regulations, they cannot bind persons dealing with them by special contracts of which they have no notice, and not contained in the writing.
In construing contracts of this kind, “language of uncertain or doubtful meaning should generally be taken in its strongest sense against the company by which the ticket was issued and *337sold, and in favor of tbe purchaser. This rule of construction is in accord with common sense. It may be supposed that one wbo bimself writes or prepares a written contract in which he is interested will be sure to use language which he conceives is best adapted to secure to himself the full benefit of everything he could claim under the agreement the writing is intended to evidence. It is therefore allowable and just, at the instance of the opposite party, to scan critically the phraseology employed. This is obviously right for the additional reason that as the purchaser had nothing whatever to do with preparing the ticket, and had no voice in the wording of it, it was his right to claim under it the benefit of the strongest interpretation which could be made in his favor.” 1 Pet. Cor., sec. 276.
The ticket does not say it will be void if the station is not stamped on the back, nor is there anything to suggest that there was any obligation on the plaintiff except to present it; and as it was evidence that the regular fare had been paid, and required no identification of the purchaser, we fail to see how the defendant could have suffered loss by accepting it. Indeed, so far as we are advised, from the evidence, the only useful purpose that could be served by stamping on the back is to enable the defendant to check up its agents.
If, however, the statement on the ticket is contractual and is equivalent to a stipulation that the ticket will be invalid unless the station at which it was issued is stamped on the back, there is no evidence that the plaintiff had notice of such requirement, and as he paid for a valid ticket, he had the right to assume that the agent had given him what he had paid for. Wood Railways, vol. 3, sec. 349; R. R. v. Turner, 100 Tenn., 223; Head v. R. R., 79 Ga., 358; R. R. v. Dougherty, 86 Ga., 744; Ellsworth v. R. R., 95 Iowa, 107.
The authorities cited fully support the text in section 349 of vol. 1 of Wood on Railways, from which we quote: “Where the passenger asks and pays for a certain ticket, and the station agent by mistake gives him a different one, which does not entitle him to the passage desired, the conductor has no right to expel him, and the company is liable in damages if he is *338expelled. Tbe passenger bas a right to rely on tbe agent to give him tbe right ticket. There are authorities which hold the other way, but it seems that their views are indefensible. It is true, the conductor may have no possible means of knowing'the facts of the case except through the passenger’s statement, which is liable to be prejudiced or untruthful, but there is no reason why the company may not be made to respond in damages on the ground that the expulsion was the proximate consequence of the wrongful act of its agent who sold the ticket.”
There is some conflict of opinion as to the liability of a carrier for ejecting a passenger on account of the mistake of the ticket agent, when the conductor is obeying a rule of the company, as shown by the full and comprehensive note to Shelton v. R. R., 9 A. and E. Ann. Cases, 889, some of the courts holding that the face of the ticket presented by the passenger is conclusive, and that if the ticket does not entitle the passenger to be on the train he must pay his fare or submit to ejection, but we think the weight of authority and the better opinion is that, although the conductor has followed the regulations of the company and may be exonerated from blame personally, if the company, through its ticket agent, has done that which has caused the injury, the company is-liable. Wood on Railways, vol. 3, sec. 349; R. R. v. Dougherty, 86 Ga., 744; Ellsworth v. R. R., 95 Iowa, 107; Yorton v. R. R., 62 Wis., 370; Trice v. R. R., 40 W. Va., 273; R. R. v. Grimes, 99 Ky., 411; Heard v. R. R., 79 Ga., 358.
In the Dougherty case the facts were in all material respects like those in the case before us. The plaintiff demanded and paid for a ticket to Atlanta, and the agent gave her a ticket to Asheville, and she was ejected. The Court says: “We think, under these circumstances, she had a right to recover damages from the railroad company. We think she had a right to rely upon the ticket she had purchased from the agent of the railroad company as being a proper one, without an examination of the same; and nothing else appearing, there being no intervening circumstances which required her to look at the ticket, if she could.have read the same, such conduct upon the part of the railway company and its agents authorized her to recover dam*339ages,” and further in tbe same case, quoting from Hufford v. R. R., 31 N. W. R., 544: “Where a passenger who bas purchased a ticket of the authorized agent of a railroad company, believing in good faith that it is genuine, and issued by the company, and such as the agent had a right to sell, states such facts to the conductor of the train, such conductor is bound to take such facts as true until the contrary is proven, without regard to any words, figures, or other marks on the ticket.”
The language first quoted from the Georgia case is expressly approved in the Iowa case, and the other cases cited sustain fully the same doctrine. The principle upon which Mace v. R. R., 151 N. C., 404; Harvey v. R. R., 153 N. C., 567, and Dorsett v. R. R., 156 N. C., 439, were decided is the same, as in each the railroad was held liable in damages for expelling a passenger, brought about by the mistake of the agent, although the conductor was obeying a rule of the company.
If we apply these principles to the evidence, it follows necessarily that there was no error in refusing to enter judgment of nonsuit, and that there was no evidence of contributory negligence, as it appears that the plaintiff demanded and paid for a ticket at the regular fare; that he had no notice of any stipulation that might invalidate it, and that he was ejected from the defendant’s train because of the mistake of its agent.
We might dispose of the defendant’s special prayer for instruction upon the technical ground that it assumes that the plaintiff had 35 cents,*' when there is no evidence that he had more than 15 cents, but we prefer to consider the more important question presented.
The contention of the defendant is that if it be admitted that the plaintiff was wrongfully ejected from the train, the tort was complete when the plaintiff reached the ground, and that it was then only a question of damages, which it was the duty of plaintiff to decrease. The defendant has 'furnished us with no authority in support of this view, but while not directly in point, the trend of the decisions in R. R. v. Arnold, 8 Ind. App., 300; Yorton v. R. R., 62 Wis., 370, and Harvey v. R. R., supra, is against it.
*340In the Arnold case the Court says: “We do not concur in tbe doctrine that it was the duty of the appellee to pay the extra fare demanded of him and afterwards settle the question in dispute with the company or its agents. It is true that the amount demanded was trifling, but the principle involved is the same as if the sum demanded had been a large one. . . . Appellant chose to stand upon what it conceived to be its strict legal rights. It cannot now be heard to complain if the appellee chose to do the same. It comes with an ill grace for the appellant, after it has pushed what it believed to be its rights to the last extremity, to say that because it offered to carry appellee if he would pay his fare, the damages ought to be mitigated. Appellee was under no legal obligation to accept any offer, no matter how considerately made. In fact, the offer itself was only what the appellant would have been compelled to give to any person who would pay the fare demanded. The time to be magnanimous was before the expulsion occurred. Appellant cannot excuse or palliate the wrong or mitigate the damages flowing therefrom by its subsequent acts.”
If, however, the position is sound, the instruction was properly refused, because it is assumed that the conductor would have accepted a tender of fare after the expulsion, and there is no evidence of this fact. The conductor was acting upon the assumption that the ticket was invalid, and that he had the right to eject the plaintiff. If so, it was his duty to accept the fare before .expulsion, but was under no legal obligation to do so afterwards. Clark v. R. R., 91 N. C., 512; Pickens v. R. R., 104 N. C., 325.
The Court says in the Clark case: “Nor when the officer has stopped the train and he is descending the steps and is about to pass out, will a tender of the fare entitle him to return to his seat. He forfeits his right of carriage by such misconduct, by breaking his own contract to pay, when called on, and it is not regained by his repentance at the last moment and after he has caused the inconvenience and delay to the company by his wrongful act”; and in the Pickens case: “If the tender of fare is made by a passenger or any other person for him before the train is stopped to expel him, the company must accept it and allow *341bim to remain; but after tbe train bas been stopped for tbat purpose, be cannot reimpose upon tbe company tbe obligation to perform a contract wbicb be bad violated in tbe first instance, by an offer of tbe money tbat be ought to bave paid wben demanded.”
Upon tbe facts as they appeared to tbe conductor, be bad tbe right to eject tbe plaintiff, and tbe plaintiff bad lost bis right to tender fare, and there is no suggestion tbat tbe conductor then offered to allow bim to pay fare and return to tbe train after be was ejected, nor was there any reason for tbe plaintiff to believe tbat tbe conductor, who bad so recently exacted a compliance with tbe letter of tbe law, as against bim, would waive bis legal rights as be conceived them, in bis behalf.
There are other exceptions in tbe record, wbicb we bave examined, and which it is not necessary to discuss.