The Most Dangerous Game
How we cite our quotes:
Some wounded thing—by the evidence, a large animal—had thrashed about in the underbrush; the jungle weeds were crushed down and the moss was lacerated; one patch of weeds was stained crimson. (1.43)
This is a little thing we in the forensics field like to call “evidence.” Connell presents evidence on two levels here: the first is for Rainsford himself. The scene of struggle is practically shouting, “Hey something ugly happened here—and with a gun!” Now, given that a weapon was used, is it Rainsford’s best idea to head to the only place on the island where people are and just go up and knock on the door?
Secondly, Connell is sending us (the readers) a hint that it’s about to get real: look at his word choice: “thrashed,” “crushed,” “lacerated”… Come on, people!
In his hand the man held a long-barreled revolver, and he was pointing it straight at Rainsford's heart. (1.48)
What does a man answering the door with a revolver expect to find? A trick-or-treater? A Bengal tiger? The fact that Rainsford tells him not to be “alarmed” is an indication that our protagonist may be missing a few clues.
“A simple fellow, but, I'm afraid, like all his race, a bit of a savage."
"Is he Russian?"
"He is a Cossack," said the general, and his smile showed red lips and pointed teeth. "So am I." (1.59-60)
Here’s a good place to put two and two together: If Ivan is a savage and a Cossack and Zaroff is a Cossack, does that mean he’s a savage, too?