What is a complication/rising action for "The Interlopers" by Saki?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Interlopers," the rising action with its complications begins when Ulrich von Gradwitz sets out with his foresters. They watch for "prowling thieves" whom von Gradwitz suspects are trespassing on the narrow strip of very steep woodland which has been the object of a feud between his family and that of Georg Znaeym. 

Because a storm wind blows, the roe deer run in fear rather than bedding down. Under these circumstances, von Gradwitz believes the men with Znaeym may be in his steep woodland to shoot game. As he and his men patrol his land, Ulrich von Gradwitz hopes to be able to confront his enemy on this night. Suddenly, von Gradwitz finds himself face-to-face with his enemy as they both have circled a huge beech tree from opposite sides. It is only a brief civilized hesitation that prevents either man from discharging his gun immediately. 

...a man brought up under the code of a restraining civilization cannot easily nerve himself to shoot down his neighbor in cold blood and without a word spoken, except for an offense against hearth and honor.

This momentary hesitation is just enough time for Nature to interfere. Lightning and loud thunder precede a "splitting crash" over their heads, and before the men can leap out of the way, large branches of the massive tree trap them. The twigs of these branches scratch von Gradwitz's face, and he must blink away the blood. Beside him lies his enemy, Georg Znaeym, who is also helplessly pinioned. 

After this initial complication, there are others as the plot develops. For instance, while both men lie injured and imprisoned by the branches, they both boast of how their men will be the first to arrive, rescue them, and wreak vengeance against the other. 

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story, “The Interloper,” by Saki, there are many elements of conflict and rising action. There is definitely rising action as the animals in the forest (even those who don’t usually go out and about at night) are agitated. The weather plays into the rising action as it is so bitterly cold, and the wind is violent. When the two men meet and begin arguing the action continues to rise, and at that moment nature one’s again interjects her harsh soul as the tree falls on both men, pinning them to the ground.