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“Whitney,” said Rainsford “Where are we?”
“It is called Ship-Trap Island,” Whitney remarked.
“And why is that?” questioned Rainsford.
“I’m not sure it just has a bad reputation,” Whitney answered. “Haven’t you noticed that the captain and the rest of the crew have been jumpy today?”
“Now that you mention it they have been a bit jumpy today.” Rainsford said.
“Ill see you tomorrow when we go jaguar hunting,” said Whitney.
“I'm not tired, Whitney,” Rainsford tells him.
“Ok well good night then Rainsford,” Whitney says.
“Good night,” Rainsford replies.
Whitney has a hard time going to sleep. He keeps thinking about what is on the island and why everyone is so scared around it. Whitney finally falls sleep and then…BANG!
Whitney runs out onto the bow of the boat to see what is happening, but by the time Whitney gets to the bow of the ship the boat is already sinking. Whitney sees the rocks that the boat hit and wonders how the captain didn’t see them. Whitney jumps off the boat and swims toward the rocks.
He waits and waits and waits for someone else to leave the sinking boat, but nobody does. Whitney sits there and watches until the boat is completely underwater. He wonders what happened to Rainsford, the captain, and the rest of the crew. He wonders what he is supposed to do.
He hears gunshots coming from the direction of the island and walks on the rocks toward the sounds. When he gets to the scene he sees lots of blood, but no animal so he isn’t sure what was killed. Then he follows a trail of blood.
When Whitney reaches the end of the trail he looks up and sees a mansion so big it looks like a castle. While he is examining the castle he hears dogs barking and tries to find out where they are. When he does he counts the dogs one, two, three…thirty-five. “Wow, that’s a lot of dogs,” Whitney thinks. Whitney then begins to wonder “Why would anybody need thirty-five dogs?”
Whitney finally moves past the dogs and continues to examine the “castle”. Whitney turns a corner and a man is standing there. The man waves him over and Whitney complies. When Whitney finally gets to the man, the man is closely examining him. Whitney looks at the man, he is wearing nice clothes, he has short brown hair, and blood red eyes. Whitney asks him, “What is this place?”
The strange man replies, “This is my house.”
Whitney is dumb struck; he wonders what somebody would be doing living on this deserted island in a creepy looking castle with thirty-five dogs. Is this man hiding from someone or something? “Why are you living here alone on this island?” said Whitney. The man replies, “I am not alone I live here with my friend, Ivan and we are Cossacks in hiding.” Whitney wonders what they are hiding from. Then Whitney sees a giant figure moving toward them. Not something he wants to see. As the shadow gets closer he assumes the large man must be Ivan.
Whitney decides that he should speak to the monster and introduces himself. Ivan does not respond. “What is wrong with him?” Whitney asks. The man explains that Ivan is both deaf and mute. “Oh, and your name is?” Whitney asks. “My name is General Zaroff”, he responds suspiciously. Immediately, Whitney knows there could be some trouble coming his way very soon.
Zaroff asks Whitney what he does for a living. Whitney responds that he is an avid hunter and has a partner named Rainsford and they have hunted all over the world. “Is that a fact?” said Zaroff with a sarcastic grin, “I too am an avid hunter and yes I have read many of his hunting books”, he added.
“You must be experienced in survival situations, hunting in the wild?” Zaroff asks.
“Why yes I do.” Whitney responds.
“Well then you will fit in very well her on this island. However, things are going to be a lot different than what you are used to.” Zaroff exclaims.
“How so, General?” asks Whitney.
“We have a unique species here,” said Zaroff.
“A unique species, now that sounds exciting, tell me more about this animal”, said Whitney.
“This animal that we speak of can think logically, brave, cunning and above all it can reason.” said the General.
“That’s impossible, no animal can reason!” cries Whitney.
“Ah, but there are such animals as you will see for yourself.” Zaroff responds.
Whitney was really getting nervous. He starts putting this whole thing together and thinks back on how the channel lights were positioned by the rocks. Did Zaroff intentionally put them there to cause the boats to crash and the survivors to be stranded on this island? Is that the animal that Zaroff is talking about, humans?
“Whitney!” General Zaroff exclaims loudly. “Yes, sorry General, I was lost in thought” said Whitney. “I hope you were thinking about hunting, because you are about to experience the hunt of your life. Ivan will show you to your room so that you can rest up, you will need it!”
“Hunting, with whom?” said Whitney. “Goodnight Whitney”, said General Zaroff. “I must be going hunting myself.” General Zaroff looks at Whitney with an evil smile. “What will you are hunting for?” asks Whitney. “It’s not what, it’s who”, he answered. “Your friend Rainsford is going to find out what it feels like to be hunted, tonight.” Zaroff added.
“Rainsford!” Whitney cries, “No you can’t!”, and as Ivan carries him away the general is laughing hysterically. Ivan drags Whitney through the woods and into the dark castle, up the narrow staircase and throws him in to a room and locks the door.
Whitney is beside him self, what is he going to do? He has to save Rainsford from this crazy maniac. He must escape, but how? Whitney looks out the window only to see the dogs beneath him and realizes there is no way out. Or is there? His mind is racing; he hopes his friend can survive this hunt.
With any luck Ivan will bring him something to eat after all he will need his energy for the hunt. Perhaps he could coax Ivan toward the window and push him out.
Suddenly he hears the door being unlocked and Ivan appears in the doorway. Whitney gestures toward the window. Ivan not being the smartest person in the world walks over to the window to see what Whitney is trying to show him. With one swift push Ivan tumbles down and becomes dinner for the starving dogs. “Yes, now I have to find Rainsford before it’s too late.” Whitney says out loud.
He runs down the stairs and into the woods. He finds a cave to hide in and hears gunshot sounds. “I hope that doesn’t mean that the crazy general has killed Rainsford”, he says out loud to himself. “Not to worry.” says Rainsford as he slips into the cave. Whitney was ecstatic to see his friend alive. They concocted a plan to trap their hunter.
Meanwhile, General Zaroff was hunting by himself, he couldn’t figure out why the dogs weren’t with him. Little did he know they had already eaten. As he crept through the woods, he couldn’t help thinking he was being watched.
Slowly he walked and then suddenly, out of nowhere, came a sharp object and as he felt the dagger puncture his chest, he saw Whitney and Rainsford together walking toward him. “This will be your last hunt, General Zaroff, you’re done!” They said. “There will be no more killing of innocent people.” Whitney exclaimed. General Zaroff fell to the ground and died.
Whitney and Rainsford had successfully ended the evil general’s hunting game for good.