Tbe liability of a defamen for tbe repetition or secondary publication of a defamation, and tbe admissibility of evidence to establish such liability, were considered in Sawyer v. Gilmers, Inc., 189 N. C., 7, 126 S. E., 183. There Connor, J., delivering tbe opinion of tbe Court, said: “We bold it to be tbe law in this State that tbe author of a defamation, whether it be libel or slander, is liable for damages caused by or resulting directly and proximately from any secondary publication or repetition which is tbe natural and probable consequence of this act. He is not liable for such damages where tbe secondary publication or repetition is without authority from him, express or implied. If tbe defamation is uttered under such circumstances as to time, place, or conditions as that a repetition or secondary publication is the natural and probable consequence of the original defamation and damage resulting therefrom, he is liable for such damages, and evidence of such repetition or secondary publication, and of damages resulting therefrom, is admissible. It is for the jury to determine, under instructions of the court, whether in view of the circumstances under which the original defamation was uttered, a secondary publication or repetition was the natural and probable consequence of such defamation, which could and should have been foreseen or anticipated by the defendant in an action for damages for the original defamation.”
Tested by this rule, it would seem that the testimony of "Watts and Mangum as to what Mygatter said to them in Pageland, S. C., should have been excluded. Annotation 90 A. L. R., 1183. The first statement made by Mygatter to Watts did not purport to be a repetition or secondary publication of the original defamation (Hamilton v. Nance, 159 N. C., 56, 74 S. E., 627), and if thereafter he were undertaking to quote Hester, it would seem the quotation was of what Hester is alleged to have said to George, rather than of what he said to Miller. Johnston v. Lance, 29 N. C., 448; Hampton v. Wilson, 15 N. C., 468. In any event, the evidence appears to be incompetent. Annotation 16 A. L. R., 726 (with full citation of authorities). It undoubtedly augmented the recovery. Lamont v. Hospital, 206 N. C., 111, 173 S. E., 46.
There are other exceptions on the record, worthy of consideration, but as they may not arise on another hearing, we shall omit rulings upon them now. Oates v. Trust Co., 205 N. C., 14, 169 S. E., 869.