Solution:
Let us assume,
the radius of the river is R.
the speed of beast is S.
the speed of duck is S/4.
Circumference = 2 * Pi * R.
Now, if duck swims R/4 distance from the center of the river and then begins to swim across the river in center implies both duck and beast can take the round trip in same time.
Explanation :
time by beast : 2 * Pi* R * S
time by duck : 2 * Pi* R/4 * S/4 => 2 * Pi* R * S
Now, the duck can move slowly inward toward the center of the river, and begin swimming around the center in a circle from this distance. It is now going around a very slightly smaller circle than it was a moment ago, and thus will be able to swim around this circle FASTER than the beast can run around the shore.
The duck can keep swimming around this way, pulling further away each second, until finally it is on the opposite side of its inner circle from where the beast is on the shore. At this point, the duck aims directly toward the closest shore and begins swimming that way. At this point, the duck has to swim [0.75R feet + 1 millimeter] to get to shore. Meanwhile, the beast will have to run R*pi feet (half the circumference of the river) to get to where the duck is headed.
The beast runs four times as fast as the duck, but you can see that it has more than four times as far to run:
[0.75R feet + 1 millimeter] * 4 < R*pi
[This math could actually be incorrect if R were very small, but, in that case, we could just say the duck swam inward even less than a millimeter and make the math work out correctly.]
Because the duck has less than a fourth of the distance to travel as the beast, it will reach the shore before the beast reaches where it is and successfully escape.