But if she was to be the practical woman she had intended to show herself, business must be carried on, introductions or none, and she ultimately acquired confidence enough to speak and reply boldly to men merely known to her by hearsay.
There are no more uses of "hearsay" in the book.
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Hearsay evidence is generally not permitted in the United States. It generally is permitted in England for civil cases.
Your tools have elevated gossip, hearsay and conjecture to the level of valid, mainstream communication.