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Alternate Ending to The Most Dangerous Game
The Most Dangerous Game
“An apprehensive night crawled slowly by like a wounded snake and sleep did not visit Rainsford, although the silence of a dead world was on the jungle. Toward morning when a dingy gray was varnishing the sky, the cry of some startled bird focused Rainsford's attention in that direction. Something was coming through the bush, coming slowly, carefully, coming by the same winding way Rainsford had come. He flattened himself down on the limb and, through a screen of leaves almost as thick as tapestry, he watched. . . . That which was approaching was a man.” (Connell, Richard. The Most dangerous Game.)
At first Rainsford thought it was General Zaroff, but the person who was coming through the trees was a friend. “How did you get here?” asked Rainsford.
Whitney was startled when he saw someone perched in the tree. “Rainsford?” he asked. “Is that you? I thought you died in the shipwreck.”
“Whitney, keep your voice down! Rainsford whispered. “What shipwreck? You don’t mean our boat do you?”
“Yes, our boat. It crashed into a large outcropping of rocks late last night. I’m not sure if any of the crew survived. They were all sleeping down below in the cabins. Luckily, I was still awake and heard the sea breaking against the rocks. I tried alerting Captain Neilsen, but it was too late. I only had time to get on the deck before the boat crashed--”
“Whitney!” Rainsford said. “Slow down. I’m sorry about what happened, but we have even bigger problems now. There is another hunter who lives here. His name is General Zaroff.
He is trying to kill me. He got bored with hunting animals so he hunts people instead. He has made a game of it.”
“What are we going to do?” asked Whitney.
“We are going to do the only thing we know how to do. We are going to hunt.”
Whitney had not been able to salvage anything from the boat so they set off into the night with nothing but the knife General Zaroff gave Rainsford and a small amount of food. The trees grew together so thickly that Rainsford and Whitney had to walk single file in some areas to pass through. The trees towered above them like giants, making them feel small and alone. They heard the occasional howls of General Zaroff’s dogs. Even though they sounded far away, Rainsford still jumped every time he heard them. General Zaroff could follow even the trail of a mouse so he was sure to be upon them soon. They must think of a way to get him off their scent and to confuse him. They walked for a while through the night as black as pitch until they became so weary they could hardly stay on their feet. Whitney barely knew what was going on and Rainsford was on the verge of panic. With only a knife to protect him, he felt vulnerable knowing General Zaroff had a gun.
The next day when Rainsford awoke the sun has already high in the sky and he had no idea where he was. His muscles ached as his sat up and looked around. His shirt was stained with blood as red as a rose. He didn’t even know whose it was. He felt something was wrong and when he stood up and turned around he figured out why. It was Whitney. It was just like when Rainsford first arrived on the island and saw the weeds stained crimson. He didn’t have to
think twice to know what happened. Rainsford had changed the game by adding another player and Zaroff did not like it.
Rainsford knew that the only reason he was still alive was for the sake of the game. Zaroff wasn’t going to end it that quickly.
Rainsford had a couple hours to compose himself before night fell and General Zaroff came out to play his game. Rainsford covered Whitney’s lifeless body with leaves and flowers and started walking to clear his head. He either had to find a way to hide for two more days or he had to kill Zaroff. Before he could make up his mind about what to do, General Zaroff sprang out of the bushes in front of him with the swiftness and agility of a jaguar. Rainsford was caught off guard. His mind was racing and his only instinct was to run. Rainsford ran as far and as fast as he could. He felt like a coward for backing down from a fight but he felt differently about killing now. He certainly didn’t want to kill a person. He ran until his legs were on fire and the ground dropped down to the sea. He was trapped. His choice now was to fight Zaroff or jump off the cliff into the raging waters below. Rainsford’s final words were barely audible over the rushing of the water, but he knew General Zaroff got the message.