Please kindly help me with the followings. Thanks a lot!
Except from Daisy Miller by Henry James
The boy tried to crack the lump of sugar with his teeth.
"oh, blazes; it's har-r-d!" he exclaimed, divesting vowel and consonants, pertinently enough, of any taint of sofness.
Winterbourne had immediately gathered that he might have the honor of claiming him as a countryman.
What's special accent or tone the boy uses here that Winterbourne distinguish the identity of the boy?
"To Schenectady, you mean?"
"Yes, he wants to go right home. He has n't got
any boys here. There 's one boy here, but he always goes round with a teacher. They won't let him play."
"And your brother has n't any teacher ?" Winter-
It tapped, at a touch, the spring of confidence.
What's the meaning that the sentence "It tapped, at a touch, the spring of confidence." implies?