In "The Interlopers," which family won possession of the disputed land in the lawsuit ?

Expert Answers
teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story, the von Gradwitz family won possession of the disputed land in the lawsuit.

According to the text, the land had been in dispute between the von Gradwitz and the Znaeym families for three generations. In the days of Ulrich's grandfather, a court had accorded the disputed forest lands to the von Gradwitz family. Meanwhile, the Znaeym family had chosen to ignore the judgment of the court; members of the Znaeym family continually breached the sanctuary of the von Gradwitz lands, poaching as they saw fit, on land they unequivocally viewed as theirs.

Now that the land has fallen into Ulrich von Gradwitz's hands, he is convicted that he must keep a close watch on his forests in order to prevent "Georg Znaeym, the inheritor of the quarrel and the tireless game-snatcher and raider of the disputed border-forest," from encroaching on his family's property. Ulrich's fervent desire is to be able to fight Georg (to the death, if need be), in order to settle the dispute once and for all. He gets his wish one wild night, but the encounter is more than he has bargained for.

As they size each other up for a possible duel, a deadly storm topples a massive beech tree over the two men. Having been rendered helpless, both men come to realize that they must depend on each other to live. They join their voices in unison to call out for help. After a time, they see what they think are figures running towards them. Georg thinks that they are Ulrich's men, and Ulrich is ecstatic that his men seem to be making haste to help him.

However, as the figures near, Ulrich becomes silent. Seeing this strange development, Georg pesters Ulrich for more information. He asks Ulrich whether it is really his men who are approaching. Laughing in hysterical fear, Ulrich answers that it is wolves that are approaching. The story ends on an ominous note: both men, vicious enemies of yesteryear, will now very likely perish at the hands of vicious animals that know no mercy.

chicagorilke23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Saki's The Interlopers, Ulrich's family is the one that owns the land legally. Georg is the one that is technically trespassing because he continues to hunt on Ulrich's land anyway. After a tree branch falls on each man, they grow to accept their situation and mend their ways by ending the feud that has plagued both of their families for years. However, when the situation appears to be one for rejoicing, it soon grows bleak again. The ten figures that Ulrich observes on the hill are really wolves. It is likely that the two men will meet their demise at the hand of wolves, not one another.

Read the study guide:
The Interlopers

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question