"His hands were tight closed as if his nerve were something tangible that someone in the darkness was trying to tear from his grip." It became clear to Rainsford that the hunt was more between him and himself more than him and the General because it was going to use all the guts and wits he had.
"I will not lose my nerve. I will not." The general was trying to get into Raninsford's head, and Rainsford was doing his best to not let that happen.
"'Nerve, nerve, nerve!' he panted, as he dashed along. A blue gap showed between the trees dead ahead." Rainsford is struggling with his own conscious to stay focused in the hunt and not let the madness get the best of him.