They critiqued. They conjectured. They commented.
They may have been wrong.
They may have been right.
In the end, truth will out. Except when it doesn't, and what didn't happen may as well have happened, given that the outcome does not change materially regardless of whether he did and if she responded.
In the end, they don't actually care. Words and whispers and gestures passed in the filling of coffee cups and stacking of hymnals, shaking of hands and straightening of suit jackets.
Did they or didn't they? Did you see what she saw? Was that really?
reading Edgar Allen Poe [why not?]
weather trees in leaf flowers in bloom birds in flight