Near The Story's End With What Words Does Zaroff Congratulate Rainsford

With what words does Zaroff congratulate Rainsford near the end, and what does Rainsford do then?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having fallen off his ship and swum to Ship-Trap Island, Sanger Rainsford finds himself the unwitting guest of General Zaroff, a Russian with strange proclivities: he hunts the "most dangerous game" in the dangerous and deadly game of tracking his victim and killing him. However, if at the end of three days, the "quarry" has not been captured, Zaroff honors his rules and sets the man free.

Near the end of the narrative of "The Most Dangerous Game," Rainsford escapes Zaroff on the second day by leaping into the sea as he hears the hounds approaching. Later that evening, Zaroff dines and ponders the events of the day: "of course the American had not played the game." After dinner, he reads for a time, then the general locks himself into his bedroom. However, to his surprise, Rainsford steps out from the curtains. "Rainsford," screams the general, asking him how he has arrived in his room. Rainsford responds that he has swum as it was "quicker than walking through the jungle."

"I congratulate you," he said. "You have won the game."

Rainsford did not smile. "I am still a beast at bay," he said, in a low, hoarse voice. "Get ready, General Zaroff." 

The general bows, as gentlemen do before they fence. He remarks, "Splendid! One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford."

Rainsford wins the duel, for he muses that he has never slept "in a better bed."

Read the study guide:
The Most Dangerous Game

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