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The Most Dangerous Game

The Most Dangerous Game

  

by Richard Connell

The Most Dangerous Game Part 2 Summary

  • A little fuzzy-headed, Rainsford pulls himself together and heads out to the forest.
  • He starts off by creating a looping confusion of paths, doubling back, and leaving misleading clues in an effort to throw Zaroff off his path.
  • He leaves no traces: “[…] only the devil himself could follow that complicated trail […]” (II.3).
  • That night he sleeps in a tree. But the next morning, sure enough, here comes Zaroff. Looks like this is it for our intrepid hero.
  • But nope. Zaroff lets Rainsford go in order to prolong the pleasure of the hunt. And he lets out a spine-tingling cackle to go along with it.
  • Why do all villains have that same laugh?
  • Rainsford hauls himself to another part of the island and builds a trap.
  • And here comes Zaroff. Seriously, this guy doesn’t miss a thing. He laughs at Rainsford’s effort to get him with a “Malay mancatcher,” which only swipes him on the arm.
  • Nice try, though.
  • Rainsford goes on the run again and this time winds up at “Death Swamp” (get it?), which is a pit of quicksand.
  • He has a flash of inspiration and starts digging a pit. It reminds him of digging trenches in World War I.
  • But a major world conflict is child’s play compared to this situation.
  • He places stakes at the bottom of the pit and covers it with branches. He hides and waits…
  • Here comes Zaroff. Rainsford manages to trap one of the precious hounds with his pit, but not Zaroff.
  • Zaroff heads back to his chateau, but not before complimenting Rainsford on his fine work on the Burmese tiger pit.
  • Nighttime. Better get some rest for the climatic third day, right?
  • And there's nothing like the sound of a pack of baying hounds to rouse you out of bed in the morning.
  • He spies Zaroff and Ivan headed his way with those pesky puppies.
  • Time to make another trap: a knife tied to a sapling. Just a little trick he learned in Uganda from those natives.
  • The forest goes quiet. Rainsford braves a peek: Ivan took one for the team. The Ugandan knife trap worked.
  • Rainsford has a feeling his luck has run out. He jumps off a cliff into the sea.
  • Meanwhile, back at the castle… Zaroff is just not satisfied.
  • It’s hard to get good help on the island (especially if you're looking for burly homicidal Cossacks), so replacing Ivan won’t be easy.
  • Plus, he feels like Rainsford totally cheated by jumping in the ocean.
  • Like all depressed people, Zaroff decides to go to bed. Lo and behold! Who is in his bedroom but his very own prey—Rainsford himself.
  • Zaroff admits defeat, but Rainsford isn't content with an academic win.
  • The thing about prey, especially dangerous prey, is that it gets mad when it's cornered.
  • Now, it does get a little hazy and suggestive here—but we're pretty sure that Zaroff ends up making a tasty meal for his hounds… and that Rainsford has the best night's sleep of his life.
  • And we can't say we're sorry.

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