After spending his first night well-hidden in a tree, Rainsford thought that he had outwitted Zaroff. But the general had tracked him easily to the tree in which he slept, and when Zaroff smiled and walked away, Rainsford realized the Russian was playing cat and mouse with him--and Rainsford was the mouse. Rainsford planned carefully for their next confrontation. When he saw a "a huge dead tree lean[ing] precariously on a smaller, living one," it gave Rainsford the idea of a trap he had learned in Asia--the Malay mancatcher. When Zaroff next approached, he stepped on the "trigger" that set off the trap; but the Cossack "sensed his danger and leaped back with the agility of an ape." The trap worked, and the tree found its mark; but it only injured Zaroff's shoulder and did not kill him. Zaroff congratulated Rainsford and returned to his chateau to tend to his wound, leaving Rainsford to plan his next trap.
He injures his shoulder and he goes back to his chateau to nurse it.