Saki's collection The Toys of Peace, and Other Papers was published posthumously in 1919. Saki had died three years earlier, the victim of a sniper's bullet, and the stories in this volume—which included sketches of pre-war England as well as tales of war—were written while he served in France. ‘‘The Interlopers’’ was included in this collection. With its fundamental theme of the deadly repercussions of long-standing feuds and a willingness to commit violence, ‘‘The Interlopers’’ clearly represents the experiences of a man who is caught in a global conflict of massive proportions. 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. Like World War I, which took decades to erupt, the Gradwitz-Znaeym feud has reached epic proportions by the time the story takes place. The story shows the fatal mistake that Ulrich and Georg make in believing that either of them can truly possess this small piece of land. The forest that Saki creates in ‘‘The Interlopers" is wild and untamable; it is held in the thrall of nature and her creatures. In their forthcoming destruction of Ulrich and Georg, the wolves demonstrate their ownership of this savage domain.
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