PaintballX3 Magazine PaintballX3, November 2012 - Page 68

Seybold (L) Gurnsey (R) FIRST GAME FROM A FOUNDER OF THE SPORT. In 2007 I attended the Paintball World Championships at Disneyland in Orlando, FL, with Robert Gurnsey. When word got out that he was on site, Gurnsey was escorted to the media center, where reporters, contestants, team owners, product manufacturers and sponsors, along with spectators from the United States and abroad, descended on the area, all wanting to meet one of Paintball's founders and hear about the first games played. In each venue, the founders did not disappoint their audiences. They told of those first games with genuine enthusiasm, and the crowds responded by asking for more stories. And they got them. Here are a few moreā€¦ The Game They Played: By David Seybold Excerpts from Chapter One INSPIRATION: Autumn 1976 There is in the literature of outdoor adventure a celebrated short story called The Most Dangerous Game, written by Richard Connell in 1924. It is the story of a biggame hunter and author from North America who becomes shipwrecked on an isolated island in the Caribbean. His name is Sanger Rainsford and he is on his way to Brazil to hunt jaguar in the Amazon. He accidently falls off the yacht late at night while taking a stroll on deck and makes his way to the island. There he discovers a large chateau owned by General Zaroff, a genteel elegant Russian aristocrat of noble Cossack heritage who lives along on the island with a deaf-mute servant named Ivan. The General offers Rainsford food and shelter, which he gladly accepts. Ivan escorts the island's newest resident to the dining room, where the general is already seated at a large table. Mounted on the walls of the room are the trophy heads of many animals, the variety and quality of which Rainsford finds most impressive. He takes his seat and is served a glass of sparkling wine. "Do you think the champagne has suffered from its long ocean trip?" "Not in the least," declared Rainsford. He was finding the general a most thoughtful and affable host, a true cosmopolite. But there was one small trait of the general's that made Rainsford uncomfortable. Whenever he looked up from his plate he found the general studying him, appraising him narrowly. "Perhaps," said General Zaroff, "you were surprised that I recognized your name. You see, I read all books on hunting published in English, French, and Russian. I have but one passion in my life, Mr. Rainsford, and it is the hunt." "You have some wonderful heads here," said Rainsford as he ate a particularly well-cooked filet mignon. "That Cape Buffalo is the largest