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The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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What three techniques does Rainsford use against Zaroff in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

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Rainsford uses knowledge he has gained from his travels around the world to survive. Rainsford's three techniques: Malay mancatcher, Burmese tiger pit, tree trap The general's three techniques: improvised bandage, Malay mancatcher, Burmese tiger pit (and dogs) Zaroff gets the worst of each technique and still continues to hunt Rainsford. Why does Zaroff continue? He is like a dog with a bone; he will not give up. He is also very clever and creative. He can see how much Rainsford knows about hunting.

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One of the reasons Zaroff feels that Rainsford is a worthy opponent is because Rainsford has traveled around the world and hunted in every country. He is considered an expert on the subject of hunting.  The knowledge he gained on these trips helps him to fight Zaroff.  Zaroff also has...

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traveled extensively in his pursuit of exciting game. His knowledge will also be tested.  Zaroff is now hunting an animal that can reason and has knowledge of how he hunts.

First, Rainsford builds a Malay mancatcher.  Rainsford made it from a huge dead tree that was leaning on a smaller, living one.  When Zaroff‘s foot touches one of the smaller boughs, he recognizes the trap.  He jumps back quickly just as the large dead tree comes crashing down.  It injures his shoulder, but he is still alive and still willing to hunt. He yells to Rainsford,

“Not many men know how to make a Malay mancatcher.  Luckily for me I, too, have hunted in Malacca.  You are proving interesting, Mr. Rainsford.” (pg 8)

Having failed with that technique, Rainsford heads further into the island only to end up in the swamp. Zaroff warned him about at this end of the island.  His foot gets caught in the quicksand, but he is able to extricate it.  He backs up about a dozen feet from the quicksand and begins to dig a Burmese tiger pit.  When the hole he is digging is above his shoulders, he climbs out.  He places pointed stakes in the bottom with the points sticking up.  Then he weaves a cover for the pit of weeds and branches so that it can not be seen.  When Zaroff comes in pursuit, Rainsford hides. The technique works. Rainsford hears a horrible scream.  He thinks he has killed the general, but he has only killed one of the general’s best hunting dogs.  Now Zaroff says,

“Again you score, I think, Mr. Rainsford, I’ll see what you can do against the whole pack…..Thank you for a most amusing evening.”(pg 9)

Rainsford now heads away from the swamp.  He is going to try a trick he learned in Uganda.  He found a young, supple tree and fastened his hunting knife to it with the blade pointing down the trail.  He tied the tree back so that it would spring forward when tripped.  He then runs away as quickly as possible.  He can hear the baying of the hounds as they search for him.  Suddenly, the baying stops.  Rainsford, again, thinks he has killed Zaroff, but, to his surprise, Zaroff is still standing.  The trick killed Ivan.  This time Zaroff continues the hunt.

My copy of the story comes off the internet. Therefore, my pages may not coincide with your story, but they should be close. 

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