What did Saki Mean By "Well stocked with game"?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In "The Interlopers," Saki writes that the narrow strip of land that Gradwitz and Znaeym are feuding over is "well stocked with game." Saki is conveying how valuable this narrow strip of land is. It is filled with game or animals for hunting. That is why Gradwitz and Znaeym are feuding:

The two characters in ‘‘The Interlopers,’’ Ulrich von Gradwitz and Georg Znaeym, hate each other for no other reason than they have inherited a feud from their grandfathers surrounding a piece of land.

For years, the Gradwitz family and the Znaeym family have been feuding over the narrow strip of land that is filled with valuable game. The two families have even taken the matter into the courts. The courts ruled in favor of the Gradwitz family. However, the ruling did not stop Georg Znaeym from hunting on this resourceful strip of land:

The neighbour feud had grown into a personal one since Ulrich had come to be head of his family; if there was a man in the world whom he detested and wished ill to it was Georg Znaeym, the inheritor of the quarrel and the tireless game-snatcher and raider of the disputed border-forest.

On the particular night that Gradwitz and Znaeym run into each other, face to face in the dark, Znaeym was trespassing on Gradwitz' property. Despite the courts ruling in favor of Gradwitz, Georg Znaeym continued to hunt on this extraordinary piece of land. Gradwitz accuses Znaeym of stealing his game. Therefore, he had organized a group of men to hunt Znaeym down:

On the night the story takes place, he has organized a group of men to find Georg, whom he plans to kill. He considers Georg his enemy and calls him a ‘‘forest-thief, game-snatcher.’’

No doubt, the land is valuable for such a feud to continue over the years. Georg calls it stolen land:

Georg refers to the land as Ulrich's ‘‘stolen forest.''

Perhaps the men would have gone on feuding over this valuable land had not a tree fallen on the two of them and pinned them down near one another. Having time to think, Gradwitz decides to call the feud off and Georg finally agrees. Of course it could be too late for both of them since a pack of wolves is coming toward them. Truly, the narrow strip of land is "well stocked with game."



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