In 1918, Emory S. Reynolds contracted pneumonia and expected to die. He gave a diamond ring to his friend Frank Newell (plaintiff), telling him it was a gift. Reynolds was a widower and had no children. Unexpectedly, he recovered, and lived another four years. Newell insisted on returning the ring to Reynolds. Reynolds wore the ring, but stated that the ring belonged to Newell. After Reynolds died, National Bank of Norwich (defendant) (the bank), acting as executor, claimed that Reynolds, not Newell, owned the ring. Newell brought suit for possession of the ring and prevailed at the trial court. The bank appealed.