"The Most Dangerous Game," by Richard Connell, is a short story that turns the tables on who is prey and who is predator, showing how the hunter can become the hunted. The story opens on a ship, as two characters stand on deck and discuss where they are heading, a place called Rio. A minor character and hunter named Whitney talks with Rainsford, the protagonist, who is a noted author and respected international hunter. As Whitney and Rainsford stand on the ship's deck, they bandy about legends surrounding their foreboding destination, especially rumors of a nearby island sailors refer to as "Ship Trap Island." The implication is that they are in a dangerous setting and the ship could become trapped. The easy banter turns to the topic of hunting—the reason for their expedition—and Whitney ponders how the animals must feel during the hunt. Rainsford coldly dismisses his musings, saying, "they [the animals] have no understanding." After Whitney leaves the deck to retire for the night, Rainsford looks out over the vast, mysterious water. Just as he lights his pipe, he hears a loud noise and topples overboard into the dark sea. Rainsford's attitude and the discussion of Ship Trap Island both foreshadow important events to come.