When the game begins, Rainsford immediately runs through the forest in an attempt to distance himself from General Zaroff. Rainsford then regains his bearings and realizes that the general will easily be able to follow his path through the forest. He then begins to run in circles, crossing his path numerous times and making elaborate loops in an attempt to confuse General Zaroff. Once Rainsford makes his false path, he decides to climb a tree and tries to sleep in its branches.
At this moment in the story, Rainsford is confident that the general will be unable to trace his path. Despite his confidence, he cannot sleep and is startled by the cry of a bird in the morning. Rainsford then peers down from the limb he is resting on and sees General Zaroff walking towards him. The general follows Rainsford's trail directly underneath the tree but does not look all the way up into its branches. The general simply smiles, blows a smoke ring into the air, and turns around to walk away. The general's casual reaction greatly disturbs Rainsford as he realizes that General Zaroff is saving him for another day of hunting.