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Both my dear friends were exceptionally strong men intellectually, but Billy had the simpler nature, with less tendency to self-analysis and introspection, stronger physical life and higher animal spirits; so that with him it was a clear and a clearly-confessed case of light-hearted content and happiness as he was, and consequent light-hearted indifference to any great change.
But he was growing more thoughtful, more tender, more perfect in his moral life.
He was wounded seriously at Malvern Hill and threatened with the loss of an eye, and was at home in the country with his mother and sisters for some months.
Meanwhile his father died, and he began to realize that if he lived through the war he would have a great burden to carry with his seven women, as he afterwards called them when nobly bearing them on his great shoulders.
Seven women taking hold of the skirt of one man, and that the skirt of a round — about jacket, as Billy used to say. He returned to us just before Chancel