The Wolves Of Cernogratz




The wolves of cernogratz a weird yet delightful tale, is an adaptation from the story of the same name by H. H. Munro Alias Saki.

The Wolves of Cernogratz

Baron & Baroness: 

Baron Gruebel was a rich nobleman. He was proud & hot headed.

His wife, the baroness Gruebel, was a plump, well fed & much-to-well dressed lady, and she was extremely haughtily and quick-tempered.

Together, the two were the most conceited and vainglorious couple that ever lived.


 Conrad, brother of Baroness Gruebel, was a prosperous Hamburg merchant. He had a stronger imagination than the rest of the family.

Franklin Schmidt: I. A. Amelia Von Cernogratz): 

Franklin Schmidt, the gray old Governess of Baron and Baroness Gruebel, had known better times in the past but when she fell evil days, she had to go out and give lessons for a living, sometimes after, she became governess in the Gruebel family.

She took the name of Schmidt to hide her identity for; in fact, she was Amelia Von Cernogratz, a scion of the great Cernogratz family.

The Great Cernogratz Family: 

The Cernogratz family, (the wolves of cernogratz)  was a rich and powerful family of great noblemen.

But with the passage of time they fell victims to the vicissitudes of life.

Their riches took wings and their power waved. At last, they had to sell their residence, the famous Castle of Cernogratz.

The Castle of Cernogratz: 

The castle of cernogratz, (the wolves of cernogratz) a huge palatial structure, was the pride of antiquity.

It stood at a lonely spot far away from the village and its farms and fields.

At some distance was a thick forest, a bounding in wolves and other wild beasts.

Amelia returns to the Old Family Home: 

Strangely enough, it was the Gruebel who purchase the castle.

So when they moved into it, Amelia, naturally moved with them to live once again in the old home of her family.

The wrong Cernogratz legend: 

One day Conrad asked her sister if there were any legends attaching to the castle.

The lady said that, as usual, a legend did run about the castle in the neighbourhood. While it lent dignity to the place, it did not cost anything, as it was always so easy to invent one.

The story was that when anyone died in the castle, all the dogs in the village and the wild beasts in the forest howled all night long which certainly would not be pleasant to listen to.

But the Hamburg merchant said it would be weird and romantic.

The Baroness, however, did not believe in it. The legend for at the time of her mother-in-law’s death no howling whatsoever was heard.

The Right Cernogratz legend:

 Though she never spoke unless spoken to, Amelia, looking straight in front of her and seeming to address no one in particular, remark sharply but nervously that the story was not like that.

It was only when one of the Cernogratz family died in the castle that wolves came from far and near in their scores, glided in the shadows and howled in chorus at the edge of the forest just before the hour of death.

Then the dogs of the castle and village & all the farms around would bark in fear and anger at the wolf chorus. AS the soul of the dying one left its body a tree would crash in the park.

But for a stranger, of course, no wolf would howl and no tree would fall.

The Angry Gruebels: 

There was a note of defiance, almost of contempt, in the voice of the old governess as she said the last words.

She declared that she was a cernogratz herself and knew the family history well. The Gruebels, however, did not believe her.

They thought that she was pretending to be an important person only to appeal to their sympathies for she would soon be past work.

The Baroness shrugged her plump shoulders and stared at her angrily.

She decided to give her notice soon after the New Year festivities. Till then, she would be too busy to manage without her.

Amalie Breaks Down: 

But she had to manage without her all the same for the old fell seriously ill after Christmas and stayed in her room.

Her sudden break down was extremely annoying as she would be useful in so many ways to her mistress when she had the house full.

The Death Music: (The Howl of the wolves)

On one of the last evenings of the year, Wappi, the small wooly lapdog of the Gruebels suddenly sprang down from its cushion and crawled shivering under the sofa.

The same moment an outburst of angry barking came from the dogs in and around the castle yard. And the guests sitting by the fire, listened intently, a long drawn whining howl of hundreds of wolves was heard sweeping across the snow from the forest to the foot of the castle walls.

The Long Delayed Happiness:

 Moved by an unknown impulse, so difficult to explain the Baroness made her way to the narrow cheerless room where Amalie lay watching the hours of the dying year slip by.

The window stood open, so the mistress rushed to close it. With an air of command in her all too feeble voice, the ailing governess told her to leave it open and let her listen to her family’s death music, which the wolves had come to sing her.

She felt lonely no more as now she was once again one of a great family. There was a long delayed happiness on her face.

The cry of the wolves rose on the still winter air and floated round the castle wall. Not for a lot of money could the Death music of the howling wolves be bought anywhere.

The Crash of the Tree in the Castle Park:

The Baroness rejoined her guests and wanted to send for a doctor for the dying woman when another sound came.

It was the noise of a tree, splitting & falling in the park with a crash. At the same time Amelia died.

The Rational Explanation: 

There was a moment of silence. Then the banker’s wife, a friend in the house, said that this winter’s frost, the sharpest for many years, was responsible for the strange events.

It was the intense cold that brought the wolves. It was the intense cold that split the tree. Again it was the intense cold of the open window that made the doctors attention unnecessary for the old Franklin.

The Baroness readily agreed with her.

Obituary Notice: 

But the obituary notice in the newspaper looked very well. “On 29th December, at Castle Cernogratz, Amelia Von Cernogratz for many years the valued friend of Baron and Baroness Gruebel”.

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