Ho Yay: Stephen/Cranly. Consider the following
Cranly seized his arm and steered him round so as to head back...he laughed almost slily and pressed Stephen's arm with an elder's affection.
—Cunning indeed! he said. Is it you? You poor poet, you!
—And you made me confess to you, Stephen said, thrilled by his touch, as I have confessed to you so many other things, have I not?
—Yes, my child, Cranly said, still gaily.
Cranly, grave now, slowed his pace and said:
—Alone...you know what that word means? Not only to be separate...but to have not even one friend.
—I will take the risk, said Stephen.
— And not to have any one person, Cranly said, who would be more than a friend, more even than the noblest and truest friend a man ever had.
His words seemed to have struck some deep chord in his own nature. Had he spoken of himself, of himself as he was or wished to be? Stephen watched his face for some moments in silence. A cold sadness was there. He had spoken of himself, of his own loneliness which he feared.
—Of whom are you speaking? Stephen asked at length.
Cranly did not answer.
- Very early in the story, the boys at Stephen's school discuss classmates who have run away after being 'caught', and are to be brought back and punished. What were they doing? Speculation runs rampant until one fellow shuts them up grimly: "Smugging. And that's why." (Irish for snogging). It's also implied that the teacher who will cane the miscreants will not flog them very hard because he too is gay — but this incident also sets off a shitstorm of preventative maintenance by obsessed cleric Father Dolan, who may be sublimating Pedophile Priest desires. (For more discussion of HoYay in ''Portrait'', click here.)