Joe Webb (plaintiff) and J. Greeley McGowin were both employed at a lumber mill. On August 3, 1925, Webb was dropping large, pine blocks from the upper floor of the mill to the ground. This was the usual and ordinary method of clearing the mill floor. Just as Webb was about to drop a block, he saw McGowin on the floor below and knew that if the block dropped, it could seriously harm McGowin. Webb chose to fall with the block and thus divert it from striking McGowin. In doing so, however, Webb suffered serious bodily harm that left him unable to perform physical labor for the rest of his life. McGowin recognized that Webb saved his life and agreed to pay Webb $15 every two weeks to sustain him since he could not work. McGowin paid these payments until his death, at which point the executors of his estate, N. Floyd McGowin and Joseph F. McGowin (defendants), refused to continue making payments to Webb. Webb brought suit to recover the unpaid installments accruing from the time payments stopped to the time of the suit. The McGowins demurred. The trial court entered a judgment of nonsuit against Webb. Webb appealed to the Alabama Court of Appeals.