Finding this game did not work, he soon began to "play possum" again.
To play possum when one hears the footfall of Fate on the stairs.
Why not, he asked himself, "play possum" with the man and the dog, and pretend to be badly hurt and unconscious?
To pretend to be dead, a trick used by opossums to defend themselves from predators: “Everyone thought the old con man had died, but it turned out he was just playing possum.” By extension, it also means “to pretend to be asleep, or to lie low”: “Come on, Harry, open your door. You can't play possum forever.”