- Ho Yay: Roommates Big Sam and Little Sam act an awful lot like an old married couple, and when they have a fight and a rumour spreads that Little Sam is dating the Widow Terlizzick, Big Sam gets very jealous, though he says that he won't miss Little Sam one bit, no siree.
When [Big Sam] was observed standing on a rock, waving his short arms wildly in the air, it was a safe bet that he was [...] abusing the Widow Terlizzick. She was, he told the world, a hooded cobra, a big fat slob, a rapacious female animal and a tigress. He professed profound pity for Little Sam. The poor fellow little dreamed what he was in for.
- Values Dissonance:
- The whole thing with the "unreliable" Spanish ancestry in the family.
- The Sams have a dramatic falling out over Little Sam's acquisition of a nude alabaster (ie., pure white) statuette of a Greek goddess, culminating in Big Sam moving out of their shared cottage. When he's finally persuaded to return in the very last page of the book—evidently, an effort to go out on a comic note—he discovers that Little Sam has given "Aurorer" a coat of bronze paint as a concession to his pal's sensibilities. Big Sam's reaction (and the last sentence of the book)? "Then you can just scrape it off again. Think I'm going to be looking at an unclothed nigger sitting up there?"