“The Little Donkeys” by Hugh Walpole gives off very strong lesbian/sapphic vibes
You can’t tell me it isn’t gay. You just can’t.
And the author (Hugh Walpole) was gay, so that increases the possibility, in my opinion.
Two women, Jane Pope and Alice Menzies, live in a small town, they’re pretty close. Jane loves Alice a lot more than Alice loves her. Like, a lot. Alice is super flirtatious with men and wants to marry one, Jane doesn’t want to. Alice is really bored with the life she is living, which is why she wants to get married and leave.
Also, there’s these two donkeys named Percy and Emily, who come around the corner at around half-past seven.
Alice meets a fellow named Mr. Hunting. He seems pretty cool, he’s a doctor he likes dogs, sounds pretty decent. He proposes to her and gives Alice some time to think, and she tells Jane that she is going to accept his proposal. Jane firmly congratulates her and (based on the text) kisses her on the mouth.
Alice meets up with Mr. Hunting and they talk. Alice realizes how much she loves the little town, especially Jane. Mr. Hunting talks about his life, and relatives. He mentions his Uncle Percy and Aunt Emily, and then says he and Alice will have a boy and a girl, named Percy and Emily.
Alice finds this funny because Percy and Emily are the names of the two donkeys that walk down the street, and laughs, telling this to Mr. Hunting. His ego is hurt and he gets angry at her because he has never discussed something this serious with anyone before, and Alice explains but he is still mad.
Alice explains that she found it funny how big of a coincidence it was that Mr. Hunting’s Uncle and Aunt were named Percy and Emily and how he wanted to name their children that. She said it was absurd, really, and that their relationship wouldn’t work out, and she apologized for behaving in such a way that she had upset him.
She came back to Jane and told her that she had rejected him, and that she was sorry that she hadn’t noticed how much Jane loved her. And then they watch as Percy and Emily come round the corner.
"...she loved Miss Pope, but this stupid old town, this stupid old shop, this stupid old unnatural life. After all, a woman was meant to be married. Not every woman, said Miss Pope."
"There were occasions in which Miss Menzies wished passionately that Miss Pope didn't love her with such strength and obstinancy. It seemed that nothing could shake Miss Pope's love for her, which made that love an occasion both unexciting and frightening. Miss Menzies felt that she wasn't worthy of it."
"Jane Pope had put all of her force into this one affection [Miss Menzies]..."
"What [Miss Menzies] needed was to meet someone who would draw out of her all this love and tenderness to one aim and object, only, unlike Jane Pope, this someone must be a man."
"Of course, [Miss Menzies] would marry [Mr. Hunting]. He was the very man for whom she had for so long been waiting. And yet, was she truly in love? Why, at this moment, as she looked out onto the shining grass and heard the rustle of the sea, was she not longing to be caught in his arms; why was it rather of Jane Pope that she was thinking and of all the little things- the little things that had seemed to her for so long to be tiresome, intolerable hindrances binding her to slavery? Why-
Ah! There were the donkeys!"
"And Jane Pope at once knew. When you love anyone as deeply as she loved Alice Menzies you know everything."
"You know Mr. Hunting-" began Alice Menzies.
"Yes," said Jane Pope, who had met him once.
"He asked me to marry him last Tuesday. To-day I'm going to give him my answer."
"Of course, I'm going to accept him."
Jane Pope put down her cup. Alice knew she was trembling; she knew it although she did not look at her. She did not dare to look at her."
"...after another pause, [Jane Pope] got up, went over to Alice Menzies's chair, bent over, and kissed her. Alice put up her hand and touched Jane Pope's cheek. They stayed for a moment thus."
"[Miss Menzies] had hated all these things. She had regarded them as tyrants holding her to sterility, old-maidhood, failure, and negation. But how different they seemed now that she was about to leave them! And the shadow of Jane, Jane's nobility and kindliness and love, the touch of her cheek, the unselfish fidelity of her soul, Jane's shadow hung over all the scene."
"..she didn't want to marry Mr. Hunting, to exchange Mr. Hunting for Jane, to suffer his masculine cocksureness, his arrogance, his lack of imagination, to exchange Bristol and his dull doctor's house, the monotonous routine of his uninteresting friends, his male self-satisfaction, for Jane's beauty of heart, her lovely imagination..."
"[Miss Menzies] ran to Jane Pope, clung to her.
"Oh Jane, I didn't know. I had never guessed- how good, how sweet all this time you have been."
"So Jane, who had waited for many years, most patiently, had her great moment."