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The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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At the end of "The Most Dangerous Game," how does the reader know that Rainsford and Zaroff will fight to the death?

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Toward the end of Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game," the protagonist Sanger Rainsford leaps from a cliff across from General Zaroff's chateau in order to avoid certain death at the hands of the general and his pack of dogs. The reader is initially unsure of Rainsford's fate. The general obviously believes him to be dead because he returns to the chateau, has dinner and goes to his bedroom. Rainsford, who has survived the swim across the cove, reveals himself to Zaroff after hiding behind the curtains. The general is shocked but quickly congratulates Rainsford, telling him that he has "won the game." Rainsford spurns Zaroff's declaration, indicating that he is still a "beast at bay" and that the "game" between the two men can only end in the death of one of the men. The general confirms this and is even joyful in the prospect. He says,

"Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford..."

The term repast is defined as a meal and so the general suggests that the man who loses the duel will be thrown to the dogs. The other one will sleep in the general's bed. The final line confirms that Rainsford has killed the general because he comments on the comfort of the bed. 

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