Rainsford falls overboard on the ship and swims to the closest island. "Ship-Trap Island" is the only thing that saves his life. When He arises and begins to explore the island for the source of the gunshots he heard earlier, he sees a house. He walks up the stairs and knocks on the door. Ivan opens the door and points a gun at Rainsford, he even cocks the trigger, but then his master comes down the stairs and says, " "It is a very great pleasure and honor to welcome Mr. Sanger Rainsford, the celebrated hunter, to my home. "I've read your book about hunting snow leopards in Tibet, you see," explained the man. "I am General Zaroff."' It is in this part of the story that we learn Rainsford has a reputation as a great hunter and author.
Rainsford has a reputation as a great hunter. At the beginning of the story on the ship Whitney remarks, "and I've seen you pick off a moose moving in the brown fall bush at four hundred yards..." After he is captured by Ivan and taken to the mansion, General Zaroff tells Rainsford at dinner that he has recognized his name, "You see, I read all books on hunting ..."
The fact that Sanger Rainsford is an exceptional hunter excites General Zaroff even more as he anticipates a formidable adversary in the "hunt" that will begin the next day.