How did the von Gradwitzes receive all the land they have in "The Interlopers" by Saki?

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The primary characters in "The Interlopers" by Saki are Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz, and these two men have developed a bitter and personal animosity over what Ulrich calls a "worthless strip of forest." The rest of von Gradwitz's forest lands are "of wide extent and well stocked with game;" however, the disputed land located on the edge of his land does not have much actual value.

It is 

not remarkable for the game it harboured or the shooting it afforded, but it was the most jealously guarded of all its owner's territorial possessions. A famous law suit, in the days of his grandfather, had wrested it from the illegal possession of a neighbouring family of petty landowners; the dispossessed party had never acquiesced in the judgment of the Courts, and a long series of poaching affrays and similar scandals had embittered the relationships between the families for three generations.

We know that since the land does not have much value, the Battle for it is personal rather than financial, even though the courts have already determined that the land belongs to the von Gradwitzes. Each of the men wants the land for principle and the feud has grown bitter enough that both men contemplate murder. In fact, that is why they are in the forest on the night of the story. 

So, the courts granted the lands to Ulrich's family, but Georg's family never accepted this decision. The result is a three-generation feud which chows no signs of changing--at least not yet.  

I have attached several excellent eNotes sites below, in case you need or want more information on this story. 

Sources:

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