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Created: 23 May 2016
  “I am Count Zaroff.”  The speaker was slight and slender, cynical and sinister, and across his forehead blazed a terrible scar.  “Welcome to my poor fortress, built by the Portuguese centuries ago.  I have had the ruins restored to make my home.”  The castle, strangely circular, was the only sign of habitation on Brack Island: “We Cossacks find our inspiration in solitude.”  Zaroff was a Cossack, a rich Russian who had escaped the Revolution with much of his wealth.  Now he lived alone, save for his dumb servants, and his occasional guests – survivors from shipwrecks which he cunningly engineered.

  Zaroff was a hunter.  “Some men God made Kings, some beggars.  Me, he made a hunter.  My hand is made for the trigger.  Hunting is my one passion.  Hunting is as much a game as stud poker – only the limits are higher.”  Zaroff fingered the scar that throbbed on his forehead.  “Hunting was beginning to bore me.  When I lost my love of hunting I lost my love of life, of love.”  Zaroff had made himself perfect in the use of the Tartar War-bow.  “What I needed was not a new weapon, but a new animal.  I have invented a new sensation.  I keep it as a surprise for my guests against the rainy day of boredom.  Here on my island I hunt the most dangerous game. . . Man!”


Leslie Banks as Count Zaroff in ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ (1932)



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