Taylor (defendant) assaulted his wife. His wife sought safety in Harrington’s (plaintiff) house. The next day, Taylor entered Harrington’s house and began assaulting his wife again. Taylor’s wife knocked him to the ground and was about to strike him with an axe when Harrington intervened. Harrington moved between Taylor and his wife, and instead of hitting her husband with the axe, Taylor’s wife struck Harrington’s hand. Harrington suffered severe injury. Taylor orally promised to pay Harrington for her damages. He then paid a small amount to Harrington, but refused to pay more. Harrington brought suit against Taylor in North Carolina state court seeking to enforce the promise to pay for the remainder of her damages. Taylor’s demurrer to the complaint was sustained, and Harrington appealed.