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The Most Dangerous Game

by Richard Edward Connell

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What three tricks does Rainsford use to elude Zaroff in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

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Rainsford evades Zaroff by making a complicated trail, setting traps, and using weapons.

Rainsford accidentally ends up trapped on Ship-trap island with the sociopathic hunter General Zaroff when he falls off his ship one evening.  He is an expert hunter, and so he should get along with Zaroff, who is an avid sportsman.  However, Zaroff is an unusual hunter, and Rainsford finds himself in an unusual situation, becoming the prey instead of the predator. Fortunately, Rainsford has skills to match Zaroff’s. Ironically, this is one of the reasons why Zaroff chose him for the game. He needs a challenge.

Rainsford’s first strategy is to run (if that is a strategy), and then give Zaroff a trail to follow.

He executed a series of intricate loops; he doubled on his trail again and again, recalling all the lore of the fox hunt, and all the dodges of the fox.

He then climbed into a tree and rested, finally, which brought him “new confidence and almost a feeling of security.” Even though he is confident for the first time, and he thinks that “only the devil” could follow such a trail, General Zaroff might just be the devil. When he finds him, Rainsford holds his breath. The fact that Zaroff can do this is very unsettling to Rainsford.

His first thought made him feel sick and numb. The general could follow a trail through the woods at night; he could follow an extremely difficult trail; he must have uncanny powers; only by the merest chance had the Cossack failed to see his quarry.

Zaroff saw something, because he stopped and smiled near Rainsford. The thought of General Zaroff smiling sends chills down Rainsford’s spine. He realizes that the hunter is toying with him. His evasion did not work. Zaroff found him, and let him go. He is enjoying the game, like a cat with a mouse. Knowing the ”full meaning of terror,” Rainsford realizes he has to do better if he is going to survive. He also can’t lose his nerve.

Rainsford does up his game, with the intricate “Malay mancatcher” trap. Unfortunately, Zaroff figures it out. It does wound the general though, and buy Rainsford some time.

But [Zaroff] was not quite quick enough; the dead tree, delicately adjusted to rest on the cut living one, crashed down and struck the general a glancing blow on the shoulder as it fell; but for his alertness, he must have been smashed beneath it.

Zaroff congratulates Rainsford on this trap, telling him that he might have been caught if he had not seen it before. He goes to get his wound dressed.

Rainsford keeps moving, and after almost sinking into quicksand, makes his next move. He digs a pit with stakes on the bottom. It earns him another day’s rest.

"You've done well, Rainsford," the voice of the general called. "Your Burmese tiger pit has claimed one of my best dogs. Again you score. I think, Mr. Rainsford, Ill see what you can do against my whole pack. I'm going home for a rest now. Thank you for a most amusing evening."

Zaroff is enjoying the game, but the game is also getting harder. Each time Rainsford proves that he can do something clever, Zaroff ups his game, too. The tiger pit was a great success, but the pack of dogs terrifies him.

Rainsford tries to finally take Zaroff out after he sets an entire pack of dogs on him. He uses his hunting knife and a “springy young sapling” to accomplish this. The problem is that the knife lands in the wrong person.

His pursuers had stopped. But the hope that was in Rainsford's brain when he climbed died, for he saw in the shallow valley that General Zaroff was still on his feet. But Ivan was not. The knife, driven by the recoil of the springing tree, had not wholly failed.

At this point, Rainsford has whittled away at Zaroff. He has lost his best dog, and his giant mute bodyguard. All along the way, Rainsford has also been getting more and more wild. His nerves are wearing thin. He responds by making the final move—swimming. Rainsford makes his way into Zaroff’s chateau, confronts him, and reminds him that he is still the “beast at bay.”

Zaroff wanted competition, and he definitely got it in Rainsford. Rainsford had to fight for his life during this hunt. Unfortunately, although he started out ready to stand up for his principles, by the end of the story, Zaroff has transformed him into an animal, reduced to his baser animal instincts.  

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What three tricks does Rainsford use to elude Zaroff?

Initially, Rainsford runs in circles through the forest in an attempt to confuse General Zaroff as he searches for his trail. Rainsford then climbs up a tree and spends the night in the branches hoping to avoid the general. However, Rainsford is horrified to discover that General Zaroff has easily followed his false trails and is keeping him alive for another day of hunting. Rainsford then climbs down the tree and creates a Malay mancatcher by balancing a huge dead tree and attaching it to a trigger, which almost kills the general. When the general leaves to repair his wounded shoulder, Rainsford creates a Burmese tiger pit by digging a deep ditch, placing sharpened spikes at the bottom of the pit, and covering the pit to conceal the spikes. Fortunately for Rainsford, one of Zaroff's best dogs dies after falling into the Burmese tiger pit. Rainsford then recalls a trap he learned from Uganda and fashions his hunting knife to a young, springy sapling, which he holds back using a wild grapevine before jumping into the ocean and swimming to Zaroff's chateau. The trap Rainsford created ends up killing Ivan, and Rainsford survives his three days on Ship-Trap Island.

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What three tricks does Rainsford use to elude Zaroff?

Aside from the initial doubling back several times to confuse the path and then hiding in a tree (an attempt that does not work because Zaroff is just playing with Rainsford), Rainsford develops three traps to escape Zaroff.  First, Rainsford rigs a trap that when Zaroff trips it, a dead tree will fall on the latter.  When that does not work, Rainsford then digs a pit with sharp sticks in the Death Swamp, and covers the opening with branches and weeds.  The second trap fails as well, killing only one of Zaroff's dogs, so Rainsford attempts a third method:  he affixes a knife to a sapling, to cut Zaroff when he follows the path.  However this fails as well, killing Ivan instead of Zaroff.  Yet, Zaroff manages to avoid all three tricks.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," what three tricks does Rainsford use to elude Zaroff? What is the outcome of each trick?

Because of his background, including his tenure as a soldier in World War I and his experience as a big game hunter, Rainsford proves to be something of an elusive and crafty prey for the sociopathic hunter General Zaroff. When Rainsford is initially released from Zaroff's chateau, equipped only with some food and a hunting knife, he runs blindly into the jungle, admitting that he was not "entirely clear-headed." Once he regains his senses he realizes that "straight flight was futile" and that he must cut a circuitous and therefore untraceable trail through the woods. Rainsford is sadly disappointed when the general follows his trail to the last broken branch and stands under the tree which Rainsford has chosen as a hiding place. The general stops and even smokes a cigarette. Rainsford quickly realizes that Zaroff knew very well exactly where Rainsford was hiding but wanted to prolong the hunt. Rainsford thinks, "The general was playing with him! The general was saving him for another day's sport! The Cossack was the cat; he was the mouse."

Rainsford understands that Zaroff is even more cunning then he had first thought and so, in his flight, he devises three booby traps which are intended to maim or kill the general. First, not far from the tree where he first hid, Rainsford finds two trees "precariously" balanced on each other and here he devises a "Malay man-catcher" which is intended to be triggered by a footfall. When Zaroff gets to the trap he is instantly suspicious and just as he sets the trigger he leaps away and the branch grazes his shoulder. Only slightly wounded, the general is much impressed with Rainsford's trick:

"Rainsford," called the general, "if you are within sound of my voice, as I suppose you are, let me congratulate you. Not many men know how to make a Malay man-catcher. Luckily for me I, too, have hunted in Malacca. You are proving interesting, Mr. Rainsford. I am going now to have my wound dressed; it's only a slight one. But I shall be back. I shall be back." 

After "some hours" of "hopeless flight" after the failure of the Malay man-catcher, Rainsford comes to the "Death Swamp" and has an idea. Rainsford, with a nod to his trench experience in the war, digs a giant pit which he covers with "a rough carpet of weeds and branches." Inside the pit are a series of wooden spikes. The "Burmese Tiger Pit" is meant to kill and it does the trick but, unfortunately, it only claims the life of one of Zaroff's "best dogs" and the general lives on. 

Finally, with Zaroff's pack of dogs led by Ivan hotly pursuing him, Rainsford fabricates the Ugandan knife trap which involves a "springy young sapling" acting as a catapult hurling his hunting knife "down the trail." Again, however, Rainsford is foiled in his attempt to stop Zaroff. The trap "had not wholly failed" for it had brought down Ivan but the general was still on the hunt. Without options Rainsford jumps from a cliff into the sea far below.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," what three tricks does Rainsford use to elude Zaroff? What is the outcome of each trick?

Rainsford uses three tricks to capture Zaroff.  The first one is called a Malay man-catcher.  The dead tree was cut to rest on the living tree when the foot hit the trigger, the bough that was sticking out. The tree struck Zaroff on the shoulder, but he was able to stand up and announce that he would return after having his wound dressed.

Rainsford's second trap was a Burmese tiger pit that had pointed stakes in the bottom and a mat made of weeds and branches placed on top. It was dug a dozen feet away from the quicksand that was known as Death Swamp.  It claimed the life of one of Zaroff's dogs, but Zaroff was still in the Game.

The third trick was the Uganda trick where he took the sapling and tied a knife to it with the point facing in the direction of Zaroff and Ivan.  The sapling was tied back and Ivan received its blow and was killed.

Through all three tricks Zaroff managed to stay alive but was intrigued by Rainsford persistence and cunning display of survival skills.

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What were three tricks Rainsford used to elude Zaroff in "The Most Dangerous Game"?

In order to elude Zaroff and his henchman, Ivan, Rainsford used several tricks.  The first trick he used was to create a trail that would be difficult to follow; the trail looped and doubled back on itself.  Rainsford also slept and hid from Zaroff in a large tree.  In addition, Rainsford built a trap from a dead tree (Ivan was injured), dug another trap in the swamp, created a third trap by tying his knife to a sapling, jumped into the ocean, and returned to Zaroff's home to wait for him.Rainsford played Zaroff's game intelligently and ultimately won.

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In "The Most Dangerous Game" what are three tricks Rainsford uses to throw Zaroff off his trail?

Because Rainsford is an experienced hunter, he uses knowledge of trap making and stalking prey to trey to avoid Zaroff's pursuit. 

One of the first manuevers he makes is to double over his path to avoid being easily tracked. He does not simply run in a straight line, allowing Zaroff to follow and predict his next move. However, this trick is not all that useful.

Rainsford also uses the natural materials available in order to make a snare for to injure Zaroff. Again, Zaroff recognizes the trap before it is useful for Rainsford, but Zaroff is impressed.

Finally, a useful trick that does work is in the end when Rainsford is chased to the rocky edge of the island, he leaps towards the ocean and seemingly his death. Zaroff gives up in his pursuit, but we find that Rainsford was able to survive when he shows up behind Zaroff's curtain in his bedroom.

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