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Richard Connell's short story, "The Most Dangerous Game," is set in the Caribbean Sea near the fictional Ship-Trap Island. The protagonist, Sanger Rainsford, is a big-game hunter on route to his next big expedition in South America. When he accidentally falls off his yacht, he manages to swim ashore, where he discovers a fabulous home owned by an eccentric Russian Cossack, General Zaroff. It is here that Rainsford learns the shocking secret of the evil that exists on the island. Rainsford's friend, Whitney, first describes what little he knows of the mysterious isle.
"The old charts call it 'Ship-Trap Island,' '' Whitney replied. "A suggestive name, isn't it? Sailors have a curious dread of the place. I don't know why. Some superstition--"
"... All I could get out of him was 'This place has an evil name among seafaring men, sir.' Then he said to me, very gravely, 'Don't you feel anything?'--as if the air about us was actually poisonous.
When Rainsford washes ashore, he describes the island in more detail.
Jagged crags appeared to jut up into the opaqueness; he forced himself upward, hand over hand. Gasping, his hands raw, he reached a flat place at the top. Dense jungle came down to the very edge of the cliffs. What perils that tangle of trees and underbrush might hold for him did not concern Rainsford just then...
Bleak darkness was blacking out the sea and jungle when Rainsford sighted the lights. He came upon them as he turned a crook in the coast line; and his first thought was that be had come upon a village, for there were many lights. But as he forged along he saw to his great astonishment that all the lights were in one enormous building--a lofty structure with pointed towers plunging upward into the gloom. His eyes made out the shadowy outlines of a palatial chateau; it was set on a high bluff, and on three sides of it cliffs dived down to where the sea licked greedy lips in the shadows...
The dining room to which Ivan conducted him was in many ways remarkable. There was a medieval magnificence about it; it suggested a baronial hall of feudal times with its oaken panels, its high ceiling, its vast refectory tables where twoscore men could sit down to eat. About the hall were mounted heads of many animals--lions, tigers, elephants, moose, bears; larger or more perfect specimens Rainsford had never seen.
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