The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921. Page: 17
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CITY NAT. BANK V. SLOCUM 17
(1909) 432; and cases like Teed's Estate, 225 Pa. 633, 637, 74 Atl.
646, 133 Am. St. Rep. 896, are found to depend on inferences of fact
peculiar to the case.
 The first change in this will is found in the insertion of the
words "in trust for." This change is not noted in the attestation; but,
in the first place, it was so placed in the line and so completely super-
seded the mere character "&" that there would seem no such necessity
for notation as in many cases there would be; and, in the second place,
the will was drawn by and executed before a justice of the peace,
and exhibits a disregard of much formality, beyond the statutory
requisites. Then we find that these words are plainly in the hand-
writing of the scrivener, apparently written with the same pen and
with the same ink as the body of the will It is against common ex-
perience and natural presumption that, if this scrivener was called in
and made this change at a later date, he should have done so with the
same pen and ink and without any re-execution. It is clear to us
that the entirely natural inference from this situation is that these
words were written before execution, and that no other inference
would have been drawn by the probate judge, unless supported by
clear testimony. In addition, it appeared upon the trial of the present
case, by expert testimony, that these words were written over and
across the character "&" before the ink thereon was completely dry,
and while this testimony was appropriate to the probate court issue
as to contents, but did not bear upon construction, it indicates what
really appears upon the face of the papers which were before the
probate court, and tends strongly to convince that no wrong can come
from our conclusion that the probate court should be deemed to have
intended to include these words in the instrument which it admitted
 We next consider the line drawn through these three words.
We have no doubt that this erasure should be inferred to have been
made after execution. To write in these words, and then at once to
strike them out, would not only be an extraordinary and unusual thing,
but, if that had been done, the erasure would naturally have been
strong and positive so that the words would have been clearly canceled.
Instead of that, on account of the light and delicate character of the
erasing line and its entire absence between the words, it is almost un-
noticeable. It is the kind of mark much more likely to be made by an
inexperienced person who was considering a revision or change and
contemplated that these words should not be included in a new draft.
The natural inference, and the one which we attribute to the probate
court, is that these lines were drawn at some time after the execution
of the will, and by the testatrix or some one else while considering
the subject of changes.
The remaining change-the drawing of the line through the words
"heirs of his body"-must be deemed post execution, for two reasons:
The first one is that no testator or scrivener, intending even as much
formality as was shown here, would have thought of making an effec-
tive change by a pencil mark through some words, while that would be
the natural course of some person contemplating revision. The second
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921., legislative document, 1921; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38843/m1/39/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.