Tbis was an action for damages for personal injury sustained by being struck and seriously injured by defendant’s automobile, wbicb was being driven by bis son at 45 to 50 miles an bour, according to plaintiff’s testimony, as witb due care plaintiff was attempting •to cross Main Street near tbe center of tbe business district of Durham. 'That tbe plaintiff was run over and injured and that tbe defendant was tbe owner of tbe automobile, that it was being driven by bis son, and that tbe defendant’s wife was in tbe automobile at tbe time, also that tbe defendant immediately came up and ordered bis son to carry tbe plaintiff borne in bis automobile, are admitted or not controverted. Indeed, tbe defendant put on no evidence.
Tbe plaintiff did not contend that there was any liability on tbe part of tbe defendant merely because tbe chauffeur was bis son, but contended that all tbe circumstances taken together were sufficient evidence to be submitted to tbe jury upon tbe question whether tbe driver, Fred ■-Sweaney, was acting as tbe servant of bis father in tbe operation of said ■automobile at tbe time said injury 'occurred. That tbe automobile was •owned by tbe defendant, that tbe defendant’s wife was being conveyed in tbe machine at tbe time of tbe injury, and that tbe defendant directed bis son to take tbe plaintiff borne was evidence “taken in tbe light most favorable to tbe plaintiff, witb tbe most favorable inferences wbicb tbe jury could draw from it,” sufficient to submit tbe case to tbe jury for tbe •natural presumption is that one who is employed in operating an automobile is doing so in tbe service of tbe owner, especially when tbe passenger in tbe machine is tbe owner’s wife. Long v. Neut, 123 Mo., 204, citing Moon v. Matthews, 29 L. R. A. (N. S.), 856.
It will be difficult for tbe plaintiff in such cases to show that tbe automobile was being driven and operated under tbe direct instruction of tbe .owner, wbicb was a matter peculiarly in tbe owner’s knowledge. We think it was error to nonsuit the plaintiff. Tbe facts testified to raised a presumption that tbe machine was being operated in tbe scope of tbe defendant’s ownership, and it was incumbent upon tbe defendant who put on no evidence to rebut tbe presumption.
Linville v. Nissen, 162 N. C., 95, relied on by tbe defendant, is not in *282point. In that case, there was evidence that though the owner’s son was operating the machine, he was not doing so with the knowledge or at the instance of the owner, but in 'violation of the owner’s orders and without his knowledge. That was not a nonsuit, and the Court held that the evidence for the defendant should have been submitted to the jury with an instruction that the owner would not be responsible for the tort of the chauffeur, even though he was the owner’s son and a minor, if acting without the owner’s authority and wholly for the servant’s own purposes and' in pursuit of his private or personal ends.
The judgment of nonsuit is