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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Why is the conflict in "The Interlopers" unresolved at the end?

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This answer must contradict the question since both men, Georg Znaeym and Ulrich von Gradwitz, have, in fact, ended their feud while they are trapped beneath the great tree branches. For, after Ulrich offers Georg his flask of wine and it is refused,  

Ulrich was silent for a few minutes....An idea was slowly forming and growing in his brain, an idea that gained strength every time that he looked across at the man who was fighting so grimly against pain and exhaustion. In the pain and languor that Ulrich himself was feeling, the old fierce hatred seemed to be dying down.

Then, Ulrich calls Georg "Neighbor" and tells him he has changed his mind and feels they have been foolish in their hatred, offering to have him aided first if his men arrive first. 

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

Momentarily silent, Georg finally wonders aloud about how the entire region would "stare and gabble" in reaction to seeing them ride into the market square together. Then, with dramatic irony, Georg adds that if there are no interlopers, he would invite him to his home, adding,

"I think I have changed my mind about things too...Ulrich von Gradwitz, I will be your friend."

Of course, if one of the two men were to have decided against this friendship, then the outcome would still be the same since the wolves are non-discriminatory in their hunger. Only if one were not to agree to friendship would the outcome have differed if his men or his enemy's men arrived first. He would live in both cases since the other has proferred his friendship, but if his men arrived first, the other man would, then, die.

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