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Sanger Rainsford is a world renowned big game hunter who has authored at least one book on the subject. He seems to be financially secure, travelling on a yacht to his next hunt in South America. He ponders about the new "jaguar guns" that he has ordered "from Purdey's" before enjoying a pipeful of "his favorite brier." He is an athletic man: A man in poorer physical condition may have not survived the swim back through the rough current to the island. Rainsford enjoys the hospitality of Zaroff's mansion, recognizing many of the furnishings in the "medieval magnificence" of his guest's dining room. He even sees that Zaroff's clothes are made by one of London's finest tailors, and he considers Zaroff a "true cosmopolite." Zaroff calls Rainsford "a fine young man of the educated class," but Rainsford strongly differs on Zaroff's barbaric new style of hunting human beings: Zaroff considers it sporting, but Rainsford calls it "murder." Rainsford exhibits his own wily hunting skills while serving as Zaroff's prey, and he manages to kill Ivan and one of Zaroff's dogs before eluding the Cossack and making his escape. Rainsford's experience has changed his mind about Zaroff's style of the hunt by the end of the story, and when he surprises Zaroff in his bedroom, he has decided to continue the hunt--turning the tables on the Russian and making him his new prey. After the hunt, Rainsford--who has probably slept in many fine beds before--decides
... that he had never slept in a better bed...
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