What is the mood at the end of the story "The Interlopers"?Saki's "The Interlopers"

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Replete with irony, Saki's story of two men embroiled in a feud so deeply that they forget the importance of life.  But, finally they reache a point in which the men begin to reassess their values.  For, as they lie pinioned by the branches of the massive beech tree, the two enemies cease their useless struggles to free themselves and focus upon the prospects of their rescues.  As they await the rescue of their groups, Ulrich and Georg begin to ameliorate their differences and vow to make peace.  Hoping to be heard if they call out together, the men raise their voices and shout as loudly as possible.

When Ulrich spots nine or ten, Georg tells him they must be his men as he had only seven out with him.  But Ulrich replies,

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

Clearly, then, there is a mood at the end of Saki's story of sheer terror as the men become cognizant that it is wolves who come running, not men; in addition, the prospect of being devoured by wolves is one that creates horror. At the same time irony plays a final role that lends a macabre note of humor at the reconciliation of the lifelong enemies in their final hour.

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