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Rainsford has stayed on the deck to smoke. As he is standing there thinking of the conversation he and Whitney had just had about the island, he hears a gun shot. He leans over the side of the yacht so he can hear better and judge where the shot came from, and he drops his pipe. When he tries to catch it, he loses his balance and falls into the water.
"The Most Dangerous Game" opens with Rainsford on a yacht headed for the Amazon to hunt jaguars. It is nighttime and he describes the evening "like moist black velvet." This means that it is very dark outside, and probably dangerous if there is no lighting on the ship or the shore. After talking with a man named Whitney, he is left alone to smoke on deck while sitting on a "reclining steamer chair." Suddenly, Rainsford hears the sound of three gunshots. He gets up quickly from his seat to investigate and leans on the rail. With deep interest, he stands up on the rail thinking that some elevation will help him figure out where the shots are coming from. In the process, his pipe hits a rope and is knocked from his mouth, and he lunges to retrieve it. As a result, he loses his balance and ends up in the drink.
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