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One evening, after a night at the theatre, two gentlemen were strolling down the street when they observed a well-dressed and attractive young lady walking in front of them. One of the men turned to the other and remarked, "I would happily pay $250 to spend the night with that woman."
Much to their surprise, the lady overheard the remark, turned around, and replied, "I'll take you up on that offer."
She had a smart appearance and pleasant voice, so after bidding his companion good night, the man accompanied the lady back to her apartment.
The following morning, as he was preparing to leave, the man handed her $125. The lady asked for the rest of the money, stating, "If you don't give it to me, I'm prepared to sue you for it."
He laughed and challenged her: "Oh, I'd like to see you succeed on these grounds."
Within a few days, he was surprised to receive a summons ordering his presence in court as a defendant in a lawsuit. He sped off to his lawyer and reported the full details of the case to him.
The lawyer said, "She can't possibly get judgement against you on such improbable grounds, but it'll be interesting to see just how her case will be presented."
The man duly appeared in court and the lady's lawyer delivered his preliminary address to the court as follows: "Your Honour, my client, this lady, is the owner of a piece of property, a garden spot, surrounded by quite a profuse growth of shrubbery, which property she agreed to rent to the defendant for a specified length of time for the sum of $250.
"The defendant took possession of the property, used it extensively for the purposes for which it was rented, but upon evacuating the premises, he paid only $125, one-half of the amount agreed upon. The rent was not unduly high, since it's restricted property, and we request that judgement be granted against the defendant to obtain full payment of the balance."
The defendant's lawyer was not only surprised but also impressed and amused by the unusual way his esteemed opponent had presented the case. Naturally, his defence would need to be rather different from the way he was originally aiming to present it. But he rose to the occasion.
"Your Honour," he said, "My client agrees that the young lady has a desirable piece of property, and that he did rent such property for a time and, in fairness, a good degree of pleasure was derived from the transaction. However, my client located a well on the property, around which he placed his own stones, sunk a shaft, and erected a pump, all labour being carried out personally by him. We suggest these improvements to the property were sufficient to offset the unpaid sum, and that the plaintiff was generously compensated for the rental of said property. We therefore ask that judgement not be granted."
The young lady's lawyer answered, "Your Honour, my client agrees that the defendant did indeed find a well on her property. However, had the defendant not known that the well existed, he would never have rented the said property. Also, upon evacuating the premises, the defendant removed the stones, pulled out the shaft, and took the pump with him too. In doing so, he not only dragged his equipment through the surrounding shrubbery, thus disarranging it, but he left the hole looking significantly larger than it was prior to his occupancy, making the property less desirable to others. We therefore ask, again, that judgement be granted for the agreed original sum of $250."
In his assessment and ruling, the Judge provided for two options: "A) Choose to pay the plaintiff the $125 balance you owe, or: B) Have the equipment detached from its current location and provide it to the plaintiff for damages."
The defendant wrote out a check immediately.