Call got a plate of food and went off by himself to eat. It was something he had always done -- moved apart, so he could be alone and think things out a little. In the old days, when he first developed the habit, the men had not understood. Occasionally one would follow him, wanting to chat. But they soon learned better -- nothing made Call sink deeper into silence than for someone to come around and start yapping when he wanted to be by himself.
Virtually all his life he had been in the position of leading groups of men, yet the truth was he had never liked groups. Men he admired for their abilities in action almost always brought themselves down in his estimation if he had to sit around and listen to them talk -- or watch them drink or play cards or run off after women. Listening to men talk usually made him feel more alone than if he were a mile away by himself under a tree. He had never really been able to take part in the talk. The endless talk of cards and women made him feel more set apart -- and even a little vain. If that was the best they could think of, then they were lucky they had him to lead them. It seemed immodest, but it was a thought that often came to him.
And the more he stayed apart, the more his presence made the men nervous.
Excerpt from Lonesome Dove
by Larry McMurtry
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