illustration of a wolf standing in the forest looking toward a fallen tree that has pinned a man underneath

The Interlopers

by Saki
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What happens at the end of "The Interlopers" by Saki?

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"The Interlopers" was written by H.H. Munro, who went by the pen name of Saki . The story is set in the Karpathians, and the two protagonists are Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz. Since I am not completely sure how far back to go to explain "the...

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"The Interlopers" was written by H.H. Munro, who went by the pen name of Saki. The story is set in the Karpathians, and the two protagonists are Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz. Since I am not completely sure how far back to go to explain "the end" of the story, here is a quick review.

The two men are the current generation in a family feud over a strip of worthless land. Tonight they are in the forest of that land, and each man is determined to kill the other. Nature intervenes, however, and just as the men come face to face, a tree falls down and traps them both.

Though they are both outraged at their predicament and bitterly threaten one another, some time passes and their emotions begin to settle. Ulrich eventually reaches a momentous decision:

"Lying here tonight thinking I've come to think we've been rather fools; there are better things in life than getting the better of a boundary dispute. Neighbour, if you will help me to bury the old quarrel I--I will ask you to be my friend."

Georg is silent for a long time, but then he accepts the offer of friendship, laughing at the thought of what the townspeople will say when they show up in town together.

Now both men begin to wait anxiously for their men to arrive and save them, but only Ulrich can see the approaching figures. He says,

"I can see figures coming through the wood. They are following in the way I came down the hillside."

There are nine or ten of them, too many for Georg's hunting party, but Ulrich is still glad to see them coming. Georg asks again if they are Ulrich's men, but Ulrich does not answer immediately.

"No," said Ulrich with a laugh, the idiotic chattering laugh  of a man unstrung with hideous fear.

"Who are they?" asked Georg quickly, straining his eyes to see what the other would gladly not have seen.

"Wolves."

At the end of the story, ironically, just as the men have settled their feud, they are attacked (and presumably eaten) by wolves.

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Saki's short story "The Interlopers" has a tragic, poignant ending as Georg and Ulrich helplessly await their brutal deaths as a pack of wolves runs towards them. In the story, Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz inherit their family feud over a precipitous, narrow stretch of woodland located in the eastern spurs of the Karpathians. Both men deeply hate each other, and Ulrich von Gradwitz is hoping to kill Georg when he comes across his path at the beginning of the story. Once the two enemies meet face-to-face in the forest, a massive tree falls onto both men, rendering them injured and helpless. After laying trapped for a considerable amount of time, Ulrich offers Georg a drink from his flask, and the two men begin to make amends.

As Ulrich and Georg lay helpless and impaired underneath the tree, they end their longstanding family feud and look forward to publicly expressing their friendship in town. However, the story ends on a tragic, dramatic note as they begin to see figures approaching from the woods. The story ends as Ulrich recognizes that a pack of crazed, hungry wolves is sprinting towards them. The reader is both horrified and depressed at Ulrich and Goerg's tragic fate.

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The Interlopers has a very shocking and sad ending.  After Georg and Ulrich have finally made amends and agreed to end the long family feud, they begin calling for help hoping the men that had been with them will find them and rescue them.  After some time, Ulrich sees a group running towards them and he rejoices until he realizes that those running towards them are wolves.  The reader is left to assume that the two men die as a result of the wolf attack.

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