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There was no sound in the night as Rainsford sat there but the muffled throb of the engine that drove the yacht swiftly through the darkness, and the swish and ripple of the wash of the propeller. - this sound lulls the reader into feeling almost sleepy as Rainsford does just before he begins to hear the stranger noises.
Somewhere, off in the blackness, someone had fired a gun three times. Rainsford is immediately alerted since, as a hunter, he would recognize gunshots immediately. This would build suspense.
Rainsford heard a sound. It came out of the darkness, a high screaming sound, the sound of an animal in an extremity of anguish and terror. Once Rainsford falls in the water, the suspense is increasing as he hears the sound of "an animal" (turns out to be the human animal) who seems to be feeling the worst of fear and fright.