Rainsford knew he must kill Zaroff before he himself was killed by the Russian. His first attempt was with a "Malay mancatcher," in which a dead tree was placed atop a live one, with a "trigger" set to release the mechanism. It only injured Zaroff, and the Cossack returned to his home to take care of his wounds. The next trap Rainsford set for his adversary was a "Burmese tiger pit." When he nearly stepped into quicksand, the "softness of the earth had given him an idea." Stepping back, Rainsford began to dig until he it was "above his shoulders." With his knife, he found
... some hard saplings cut stakes and sharpened them to a fine point. These stakes he planted in the bottom of the pit with the points sticking up.
Rainsford then covered the opening with "a rough carpet of weeds and branches." He then fell back to watch the results. The pit would claim one of Zaroff's dogs, but Zaroff himself would live to continue the hunt.