"OFF THERE to the right--somewhere--is a large island," said Whitney."It's rather a mystery--" "The old charts call it `Ship-Trap Island,"' Whitney replied." Asuggestive name, isn't it? Sailors have a curious dread of the place. Idon't know why. Some superstition--""Can't see it," remarked Rainsford, trying to peer through the danktropical night that was palpable as it pressed its thick warm blackness
Rainsford fell of the ship. He used all his strength to swim and screamed for help, but no one could hear him.
When he opened his eyes he knew from the position of the sun that it waslate in the afternoon. Sleep had given him new vigor; a sharp hunger waspicking at him. He looked about him, almost cheerfully.
"But you can't mean--" gasped Rainsford."And why not?""I can't believe you are serious, General Zaroff. This is a grisly joke.""Why should I not be serious? I am speaking of hunting.""Hunting? Great Guns, General Zaroff, what you speak of is murder."The general laughed with entire good nature. He regarded Rainsfordquizzically. "I refuse to believe that so modern and civilized a youngman as you seem to be harbors romantic ideas about the value of humanlife. Surely your experiences in the war--"
"Nerve, nerve, nerve!" he panted, as he dashed along. A blue gap showedbetween the trees dead ahead. Ever nearer drew the hounds. Rainsfordforced himself on toward that gap. He reached it. It was the shore ofthe sea. Across a cove he could see the gloomy gray stone of thechateau. Twenty feet below him the sea rumbled and hissed. Rainsfordhesitated. He heard the hounds. Then he leaped far out into the sea. . . .
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 thejungle."The general sucked in his breath and smiled. "I congratulate you," hesaid. "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 inthis very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford." . . .He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided.