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 A mere offer or promise to pay does not give rise to a contract. That requires the assent or meeting of two minds and therefore is not complete until the offer is accepted. Such an offer as that alleged may be accepted by anyone who performs the service called for, when the acceptor knows that it has been made and acts in performance of it, but not otherwise. He may do such things as are specified in the offer, but, in so doing, does not act in performance of it and therefore does not accept it, when he is ignorant of its having been made. There is no such mutual agreement of minds as is essential to a contract. The offer is made to anyone who will accept it by performing the specified acts, and it only becomes binding when another mind has embraced and accepted it. 


The mere doing of the specified things without reference to the offer is not the consideration for which it calls. This is the theory of the authorities which are regard as sound. (Pollock on Contracts, 20; Anson on Contracts, 41; Wharton on Contracts, secs. 24, 507; Story on Contracts ...

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