Both Sanger Rainsford and General Zaroff are thoroughly experienced big-game hunters. Zaroff acknowledges that he knows all about Rainford's achievements in this field, having read his books; and Rainsford sees tangible evidence of Zaroff's nerve and hunting experience throughout the big house.
About the hall were mounted heads of many animals--lions, tigers, elephants, moose, bears; larger or more perfect specimens Rainsford had never seen.
The other thing the two men have in common is their appreciation of the luxuries of life. The general serves a delicious meal which shows his own discriminating taste in food and wine, while Rainsford shows his own discriminating taste in enjoying it.
The cocktail was surpassingly good; and, Rainsford noted, the table appointments were of the finest--the linen, the crystal, the silver, the china.
Most of their dinner-table conversation is about big-game hunting. Rainsford feels well disposed towards his cultured and courteous host until he finds out that General Zaroff is now only interested in hunting "the most dangerous game," which is human beings. Rainsford would like to leave the island immediately, as he tells the General bluntly, but he finds that he is a prisoner and will soon be a hunted man himself.