It seems a general remark, but it is not general; the hero mentioned is the to-be hero of the book; and in this abrupt fashion, and without name or description, he is shoveled into the tale. “With aspirations to conquer the enemy that would tarnish his name” is merely a phrase flung in for the sake of the sound—let it not mislead the reader. No one is trying to tarnish this person; no one has thought of it. The rest of the sentence is also merely a phrase; the man has no friend as yet, and of course has had no chance to try him, or win back his admiration, or disturb him in any other way.
The hero climbs up over “Sawney’s Mountain,” and down the other side, making for an old Indian “castle”—which becomes “the red man’s hut” in the next sentence; and when he gets there at last, he “surveys with wonder and astonishment” the invisible structure, “which time has buried in the dust, and thought to himself his happiness was not yet complete.” One doesn’t know why it wasn’t, nor how near it came to being complete, nor what was still wanting to round it up and make it so. Maybe it was the Indian; but the book does not say. At this point we have an episode:
Beside the shore of the brook sat a young man, about eighteen or twenty, who seemed to be reading some favorite book, and who had a remarkably noble countenance—eyes which betrayed more than a common mind. This of course made the youth a welcome guest, and gained him friends in whatever condition of his life he might be placed. The traveler observed that he was a well-built figure which showed strength and grace in every movement. He accordingly addressed him in quite a gentlemanly manner, and inquired of him the way to the village. After he had received the desired information, and was about taking his leave, the youth said, “Are you not Major Elfonzo, the great musician —the champion of a noble cause —the modern Achilles, who gained so many victories in the Florida War?” “I bear that name,” said the Major, “and those titles, trusting at the same time that the ministers of grace will carry me triumphantly through all my laudable undertakings, and if,” continued the Major, “you, sir, are the patronizer of noble deeds, I should like to make you my confidant and learn your address.” The youth looked somewhat amazed, bowed low, mused for a moment, and began: “My name is Roswell. I have been recently admitted to the bar, and can only give a faint outline of my future success in that honorable profession; but I trust, sir, like the Eagle, I shall look down from the lofty rocks upon the dwellings of man, and shall ever be ready to give you any assistance in my official capacity, and whatever this muscular arm of mine can do, whenever it shall be called from its buried greatness.” The Major grasped him by the hand, and exclaimed: “O! thou exalted spirit of inspiration—thou flame of burning prosperity, may the Heaven-directed blaze be the glare of thy soul, and battle down every rampart that seems to impede your progress!”