What are the accomplishments of Ulrich von Gradwitz in "The Interlopers"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main accomplishment of Ulrich von Gradwitz is that he is able to bring the feud between Georg Znaeym and himself to an end.

Just as the two enemies come face to face in the forest, lightning strikes a huge beech tree that splits and falls, preventing either man from firing his rifle. As "a deed of Nature's own violence overwhelm[s] them," the two enemies are pinioned beneath heavy branches. The two men exchange curses in their enmity.
Then, when Znaeym laughs at the irony of von Gradwitz having been snared in his "stolen" forest, von Gradwitz retorts that while he may be "caught in my own forest land," his men will come to release him and Znaeym will be apprehended as a poacher. But, Znaeym informs his foe that he, too, has men out there. However, no men appear for some time. So, Ulrich von Gradwitz decides to offer his wine flask to Georg Znaeym, but he refuses. 

As the night wears on, each man is quiet with his own private thoughts until von Gradwitz finally concludes that there are more important things in life "...than getting the better of a boundary dispute."

Turning to Znaeym he asks,

"Neighbor, if you will help me to bury the old quarrel, I--I will ask you to be my friend."

Silent for a considerable time, Znaeym finally responds slowly,

"How the whole region would stare and gabble if we rode into the market square together. No one living can remember a  Znaeym and a von Gradwitz talking to one another in friendship."

The two men talk some more and finally resolve their differences, even to the point of each one hoping his men will be first to arrive so that he can demonstrate "honorable attention to the enemy that had become a friend." But, as fate would have it, neither is able to do so.

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The Interlopers

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