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What are the main events in the interlopers

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The Interlopers



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The Interlopers

The Interlopers Summary


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At a Glance

In “The Interlopers,” mortal enemies Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz are pinned under a tree. Trapped, the two have a change of heart and begin calling out to their parties. Unfortunately, their voices attract wolves.

  • Ulrich and Georg are engaged in a feud that dates all the way back to their grandfathers, who had a nasty dispute over a piece of land that Georg owns.

  • One night, both men decide that they will defend their claim to the land with force. Upon meeting, the two are pinned under a tree.

  • Both men have a sudden change of heart and agree to a complete reconciliation. They call out to their respective parties, but the sound attracts wolves.

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(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

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This fablelike story of vendetta and reconciliation begins with a short history of conflict between two families in the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe. Ulrich von Gradwitz, the local nobleman, is patrolling a narrow stretch of scrubby woodland that borders his much larger and more valuable holdings of forestland. The land that he patrols, however, acquires its value in his eyes because it was the subject of a lawsuit between his grandfather and the grandfather of a neighbor, Georg Znaeym, now his archenemy. At the origin of the conflict, each family held that the other claimed the woodland illegally; now, although Ulrich patrols the land as his, Georg regularly hunts its poor woods, simply to indicate his continued claim of rightful possession. What began as a legal battle generations before has become a personal and hate-filled conflict between the two current representatives of the families in the dispute.

On this particular night, both Ulrich and Georg, assisted by their retainers and huntsmen, have come out onto the land. Each comes nominally to defend his claim, but actually to destroy his great enemy by shooting him down in his tracks on the land over which they have disputed for so long. Despite a windstorm that would usually keep the wildlife in secure hiding, many animals are abroad, and Ulrich is sure that this restlessness indicates the presence of his enemy on the slopes.

Straying from his party of retainers and wandering through the woods, Ulrich unexpectedly comes face-to-face with Georg. Each is armed with a rifle, and each intends to use it because no interlopers will interfere, but not without some parting words of vengeance and hatred. Before either can speak, however, a sharp blast of wind tears from the ground the giant beech tree under which they stand, pinning them underneath.

After the impact and first physical shock that leaves them speechless, Ulrich and Georg realize that they are both still alive, and they pick up their conflict in words rather than rifle shots. Each threatens the other with the possibility that his retainers will arrive first, in which case it will be easy for an “accident” to be arranged in which the tree will have apparently crushed the hapless victim, leaving the survivor free of the charge of murder. Their threats made, they relapse into silence and discomfort as they stoically await the arrival of one or the other party of retainers.

After some effort, Ulrich frees an arm and reaches into his pocket for a wine flask that he carries, greatly enjoying the restorative effect of the drink as it warms his body. As he looks across at his enemy, some unaccountable change comes over him. He offers Georg a drink from the flask, which the other is barely able to reach. Under the combined effects of the situation, the shock, and the wine, Ulrich sees the similarity between him and his fellow sufferer, and a sudden transformation alters his old hatred. He tells Georg that, although the other is free to do as he pleases, if Ulrich’s men arrive first, they shall be instructed to free Georg; at first surprised, Georg is then caught up in the change of attitude and makes a similar promise to Ulrich.

Each now awaits his retainers more eagerly than before, but instead of eagerness for vengeance, each feels anxious that he may be the first to demonstrate his magnanimity. Instead of raging at each other, the two now reflect together on the impact that their reconciliation will have on the surrounding countryside—how amazed the other landholders and peasants will be when they see the sworn enemies in the marketplace as friends! The two begin planning the ways in which they will demonstrate their reconciliation by sharing holidays and visits back and forth between their two houses.

During a lull in the wind, Ulrich suggests that they shout together for help. After no response, they call again, and Ulrich thinks that he hears an answering cry. A few minutes pass before Ulrich cries out that he can see figures coming down the hill, and the two shout again to attract the attention of the hunters. In the last few sentences of the story, Georg, anxious to know whose party will arrive first, asks Ulrich if they are his men. The figures are not men but wolves.


(Short Stories for Students)

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The characters in ‘‘The Interlopers,’’ Ulrich von Gradwitz and Georg Znaeym, have been enemies since birth. Their grandfathers feuded…

(The entire section is 403 words.)

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The Interlopers Homework Help Questions

  • Write a short, critical summary of the “The Interlopers” by Saki.

    The short story, “The Interlopers” by Saki is one of bitter irony. The two men, Znayem and von Gradwitz have kept a generations old fued going. The courts tried to settle it, but neither man wanted…

  • Please provide a summary of “The Interlopers” by Saki and include the conflict.

    “The Interlopers” is basically a story of two long-time fueding families.  They have been fighting over a piece of forestland for longer than anyone can remember (conflict).  The two main…

  • What are the main events in “The Interlopers” by Saki?

    The main events in the story are the family feud between Ulrich and Georg’s families that has gone on for centuries over a virtually useless piece of land that borders each man’s estate. They go…

  • What are the internal and external conflicts in Saki’s “The Interlopers”?

    Saki’s short story “The Interlopers” is about two rival landowners who conflict with each other about a strip of forest land that separates their properties. The conflict has become a long…

  • I have a exam and I dont really know what I have to know about “The Interlopers” by Saki. Can…

    Fortunately, eNotes has ample coverage on “The Interlopers” by Saki. If you click on the reference links below, you will get to the Study Guide with access to a summary of the story, characters,…

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13 terms


The Interlopers



HH Munro (Saki)
Point of View
3rd Person
Protagonist (Round)
Ulrich von Aradwitz
Antagonist (Round)
Georg Zhagyon
Forest in Europe, Winter, 1600’s to 1900’s
Major Conflict (External)
Ulrich hates Georg and hopes to kill him
Major Plot Events (1)
Ulrich’s hunting for Georg
Major Plot Events (2)
(Narative Hook) – The men meet face to face in the forest.
Major Plot Events (3)
Tree falls on both of them
Major Plot Events (4)
Men state their hated for each other
Climax (Turning Point)
Ulrich decides to end the feud and Georg agrees to it.
Men decide to call for help together, but it only attracts wolves.
Life if short, give up hate.
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