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Opinion of the Court.
the oil room at the time of the fire. It was admitted that in 1878 the pavilion had been lighted by gasoline generated in a gasometer under the privilege in the first clause of the policy, but that its use was discontinued in the fall of 1878, and it was not used in 1879.
The only testimony introduced as to the cause of the fire was in substance as follows:
The defendant proved that the assured testified at the first trial, that on August 15, 1879, about dusk, he was seated on the piazza of the hotel, in sight of the pavilion, and saw some men with pails and a light; that his attention was attracted by shouts of children playing about in front, and he immediately looked back again and saw the men come out “as though they were on fire,” and it did not occur to him that there was a fire in the oil room, although he saw it: that be called to the men to roll in the high grass, and one of them did so, and another ran into the water, and in another instant he saw the oil roomn burning, and the building immediately caught fire and in an hour or less was level with the ground.
The defendant called as witnesses the two men last mentioned, who testified that they had been sent from another hotel a mile off with two ordinary wooden pails to get five gallons of gasoline: that Walker directed one Schuchardt, a man in his employ, to let them have the oil; that Schuchardt, carrying a lighted glass stable lantern with small holes around the top, took them into the oil room, and drew the oil from a barrel, through a piece of pipe used as a faucet, into the pails, one of which leaked, and much oil was spilled upon the floor; that the lantern was very near the barrel, and presently there was a blue flame across the floor, and the whole room was in a blaze of fire; that Schuchardt got out first, and died of his burns; that one of the witnesses rolled in the
and was little injured, and the other, who ran into the water, was so severely burned as to be obliged to keep his bed for three months.
The defendant moved the court to direct a verdict for the defendant, “on the ground that, as the established cause of the fire was the drawing in the oil room of the insured prem
Opinion of the Court.
ises about dusk, in the vicinity of a lighted lamp, of a fluid product of petroleum under the circumstances shown by the evidence, not for filling lamps on the insured premises, but for another and different purpose, this of itself, and irrespective of other questions in the case, constitutes a violation of the several contracts of insurance in force at the time of the fire, as contained in the policies respectively, thereby rendering the said policies and each of them void, and defeating the right of the plaintiffs to recover in this action.”
The plaintiffs requested the court to submit to the jury the questions “whether there was any naphtha, gasoline or benzine on the insured premises at the time of the fire," and “whether the fluid which was drawn from a barrel in the oil room at the time of the fire was so drawn in the presence of a lighted lamp."
The court denied the plaintiffs' requests and directed a verdict for the defendant. The plaintiffs excepted to these rulings, and sued out this writ of error.
Each of the policies in suit contains two conditions concerning the keeping or use, without written permission in or upon the policy, of naphtha, gasoline, benzine, or any burning fluid or chemical oil, upon the premises. By the general terms of the first of these conditions, the policy is avoided if the assured shall “keep or use" any of these articles. By the more specific provisions of the other condition, the prohibited articles “or any other inflammable liquid are not to be stored, used, kept or allowed” on the premises, “temporarily or permanently, for sale or otherwise,” except certain articles named, and for the purpose and with the precautions therein specified, namely, “excepting the use of refined coal, kerosene or other carbon oil for lights, if the same is drawn and the lamps filled by daylight; otherwise the policy shall be null and void."
The printed slip, bearing the words “Privileged to use kerosene oil for lights, lamps to be filled and trimmed by daylight only," was attached to each policy and delivered with it, and must therefore be construed in connection with and as part of it, and not as superseding any consistent clause in the
Opinion of the Court.
body of the policy. It is suggested that there is an inconsistency between the slip and the exception above referred to. But the two, upon being compared with one another, disclose no such inconsistency; and differ only in that the exception regulates the drawing of the oil, which the slip does not, while the slip regulates the trimming of the lamps, which the exception does not. Taking the exception and the slip together, the effect is the same as if they had been incorporated into a single sentence, so as to permit the use of kerosene or like oil“ for lights, if the same is drawn and the lamps are filled and trimmed by daylight only.”
In the exception, as well as in the slip, the words “for lights” are clearly restricted in meaning to lighten the insured premises only, and the words“ by daylight” are intended, not to denote day-time as opposed to night-time, but to prevent the use of any artificial light from which the oil might catch fire.
The clause written in the margin of one policy, granting a privilege “to keep not exceeding five barrels of oil on said premises,” cannot reasonably be construed as intending to dispense with any of the carefully prepared printed regulations concerning the precautions to be taken in handling and using it.
The clause following the description of the principal buildings in each policy, “privilege to use gasoline gas, gasometer, blower and generator being under ground about sixty feet from main building in vault, no heat employed in process,” does not affect the case; for the use of the gas apparatus had been discontinued some time before the fire; and, as has been already decided, when this case was before us at a former term, that clause did not sanction the keeping or use of gasoline or other burning fluid except for actual use in that apparatus. 116 U. S. 130.
It has also been decided, that a breach of the conditions by any person permitted by the assured to occupy the premises was equivalent to a breach by the assured himself; and that the assured was chargeable with any acts of his lessee in keeping upon the premises any of the prohibited articles, although
Opinion of the Court.
they were not intended to be used there, but for lighting other places. 116 U. S. 128, 129.
There can be no doubt, therefore, that both policies were avoided if kerosene, gasoline or any other carbon oil was drawn upon the premises near a lighted lamp by any person acting by the direction or under the authority of the lessee; and what the particular kind of carbon oil so drawn was, is quite immaterial.
The testimony of the assured himself, that just before the fire he saw some men with pails and a light near the pavilion under which the oil room was, and presently afterwards saw two of the men come out “as though they were on fire," and in another instant saw the oil room burning, and the building immediately caught fire and within an hour was level with the ground, of itself strongly tended to the conclusion that the fire was caused by such a breach of the conditions of the policy.
а. But this conclusion was established beyond all reasonable doubt by the testimony of the two men whom he saw come out, the substance of which has been already stated, and the accuracy and credibility of which is not impaired in any essential point by the thorough cross-examination to which they were subjected at the trial, or by a careful comparison with their testimony given before à coroner's jury ten days after the fire, and introduced in connection with their cross-examination.
If the case had been submitted to the jury upon the testimony introduced, and a verdict had been returned for the plaintiff, it would have been the duty of the court to set it aside for want of any evidence to warrant it. Under such circumstances, it is well settled that the court was not bound to go through the idle form of submitting the case to the jury, but rightly directed a verdict for the defendant. Schofield v. Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, 114 U. S. 615, 619, and cases there cited; Robertson v. Edelhoff, 132 U. S. 614, 626.
Statement of the Case.
KENADAY V. EDWARDS.
GREEN V. EDWARDS.
APPEALS FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Nos. 1236, 1237. Submitted January 9, 1890. — Decided March 3, 1890.
The value of the property in litigation determines the jurisdiction of this
court. In an appeal from a decree removing a trustee of real estate and denying
him commissions, the jurisdiction of this court is to be determined, not by the amount of the commissions only, but by the value of the real
estate as well. The Supreme Court of the District of Columbia at special term confirmed
a sale of real estate by a trustee without notice having been given to interested parties. Those parties subsequently appeared, and on their motion, after notice and hearing, the sale was vacated and the trustee at whose request it was made was removed; Held, that an appeal lay from
that decree to the general term of the court. A trustee of real estate, after a court of equity, on his own motion, has
discharged him and relieved himn of his trust and appointed another trustee in his place, has no remaining interest in the property which he
can convey by deed. A trustee of real estate, appointed by the court, subject to its control and
order, cannot give good title to the trust estate by a deed made without the consent c the court.
MARY E. MACPHERSON, by clause 6 of her last will and testament, gave, devised and bequeathed to her nephews, Chapman Maupin and Robert W. Maupin, of Virginia, in fee simple, lot five hundred and eleven, with the improvements thereon, on F Street, between Fifth and Sixth Streets, in the city of Washington, to be held (using the words of the will)" by them and the survivor of them, and by such person or persons as may be appointed to execute the trusts declared by this my will, by the last will and testament of such survivor, or by other instrument or writing executed for that purpuse by such survivor; but in trust, nevertheless, to manage and control the same and to take the rents, profits and income thence arising and to pay the one-half of the net amount received from such