Rainsford, along with Whitney and his hunting crew, were on a yacht late at night. It was in the early 1900's.
Once Rainsford fell off his yacht, he began to hear screams and gunshots. He swam towards the island to retrieve help and investigate. This was all foreshadowing to what was about to come.
Rainsford meets General Zaroff, a tall intimidating man who seemed welcoming yet unnerving. Once they become acquainted, Rainsford realizes how uneasy he is and how much of a great hunter Zaroff is.
Zaroff reveals and explains his "game." As Rainsford realizes the trouble he is in and tries to reason with Zaroff, although he is unable to convince him otherwise. Rainsford goes off on his own to hide away, setting traps and misleading Zaroff along the way.
Rainsford tricks Zaroff once he enters his chateau and surprises him. Zaroff is surprised and frightened by Rainsford, but challenges him to a duel in the midst of the night.
The story ends with Rainsford sleeping in Zaroff's bed, whilst thinking to himself that he hadn't slept in a better bed before. This shows that Rainsford defeated Zaroff.