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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