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Off there to the right-somewhere is a large island-Said Whitney. What island is it? Asked Rainsford. Ship Trap Island- Said Whitney. Good night Rainsford ill see you at breakfast-Said Whitney. Rainsford Struggled up to the surface of the water but the wash from the speeding yacht slapped him in the face. He doggidly swam right Because he heard 3 gunshots.
Bleak darkness was blacking out the sea and jungle when Rainsford sighted the lights. As he forged along he saw to his great astonishment that all the lights were in one enormous building--a lofty structure with pointed towers plunging upward into the gloom. He lifted the knocker, and it creaked up stiffly, as if it had never before been used. The door opened suddenly and a large man held a revolver pointing to Rainsfords heart. "I'm Sanger Rainsford of New York," Rainsford began. "It is a very great pleasure and honor to welcome Mr. Sanger Rainsford, the celebrated hunter, to my home." Said General Zaroff. "Ivan is an incredibly strong fellow," remarked the general, "but he has the misfortune to be deaf and dumb. A simple fellow, but, I'm afraid, like all his race, a bit of a savage."
"You'll have a cocktail, Mr. Rainsford," he suggested. The cocktail was surpassingly good; and, Rainsford noted, the table appointments were of the finest--the linen, the crystal, the silver, the china.About the hall were mounted heads of many animals--lions, tigers, elephants, moose, bears; larger or more perfect specimens Rainsford had never seen. At the great table the general was sitting, alone.Hunting was beginning to bore me! And hunting, had been my life."I asked myself why the hunt no longer fascinated me. "Simply this: hunting had ceased to be what you call `a sporting proposition.' It had become too easy. I always got my quarry. Always. There is no greater bore than perfection." "I had to invent a new animal to hunt,""I wanted the ideal animal to hunt," explained the general. "So I said, `What are the attributes of an ideal quarry?' And the answer was, of course, `It must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason."'"But no animal can reason," objected Rainsford. "My dear fellow," said the general, "there is one that can."
Au revoir, Mr. Rainsford, au revoir." General Zaroff, with a deep, courtly bow, strolled from the room. Rainsford had fought his way through the bush for two hours. "I must keep my nerve. I must keep my nerve," he said through tight teeth.He had not been entirely clearheaded when the chateau gates snapped shut behind him.
Rainsford caught hold of a springy young sapling and to it he fastened his hunting knife, with the blade pointing down the trail; with a bit of wild grapevine he tied back the sapling. Then he ran for his life. The hounds raised their voices as they hit the fresh scent. Rainsford knew now how an animal at bay feels. He had to stop to get his breath. The baying of the hounds stopped abruptly, and Rainsford's heart stopped too. They must have reached the knife. He shinned excitedly up a tree and looked back. His pursuers had stopped. But the hope that was in Rainsford's brain when he climbed died, for he saw in the shallow valley that General Zaroff was still on his feet. But Ivan was not. The knife, driven by the recoil of the springing tree, had not wholly failed.
Rainsford hesitated. So he leaped far out into the sea. At ten Zaroff went up to his bedroom.A man, who had been hiding in the curtains of the bed, was standing there. "Rainsford!" screamed the general. "How in God's name did you get here?" "Swam," said Rainsford. "I found it quicker than walking through the jungle." The general sucked in his breath and smiled. "I congratulate you," he said. "You have won the game." Rainsford did not smile. "I am still a beast at bay," he said, in a low, hoarse voice. "Get ready, General Zaroff." The general made one of his deepest bows. "I see," he said. "Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford." . . . He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided.
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