Suzanne Collins

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What happens in chapter 3 of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins?

In chapter 3 of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Coriolanus waits at the train station for Lucy Gray Baird to arrive. He joins the tributes in the truck and gets attacked by the boy from District 11. His life is spared when Lucy points out that the tributes' families could be hurt in retribution for the murder of Coriolanus. The chapter ends when the tributes and mentor are dumped into the monkey house at the Capitol's zoo.

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Chapter 3 opens with Coriolanus Snow waiting at the train station to meet Lucy Gray Baird, the Hunger Games tribute from District 12 whom he is to mentor. Having made a spectacular scene at her reaping, Lucy has already proven that in spite of her slight stature, she is one to watch.

Determined to get their relationship off a good start that will benefit him in the long run, Coriolanus is waiting for her with a single white rose, which will later become the signature flower that Katniss Everdeen detests so much because of its association with Snow.

While it is not conventional for a mentor to meet his tribute at the train station, Coriolanus waits for hours, as he doesn't know exactly when the train will arrive. Shockingly, the tributes eventually arrive in a cargo train, and peacekeepers let the handcuffed tributes stay locked in for at least 20 minutes after they arrive.

Upon meeting Lucy, Coriolanus immediately feels that he is once again watching her perform as she did at the reaping. She has a deeply unusual quality about her, and the first anecdote she shares with Coriolanus relates to her having been bathed in "buttermilk and rose petals" as a child. While he attempts to secure her trust, his initial attempts appear to be unsuccessful.

After gaining permission to board the truck that will transport the tributes from the station to their quarters, Snow sees that Lucy and her fellow tribute are to be transported in a "cage on wheels" that reminds him of the way he has seen circus animals transported. Remembering his mission to get into Lucy's good graces, Coriolanus climbs into the cage.

Coriolanus soon realizes just how awful his journey is likely to be, and is less accustomed to the roll of the truck and the awful smell than the tributes are. He is soon attacked by the boy from district 11, and kicks him in the groin to protect himself. Realizing that the tributes have nothing to lose by killing him, Coriolanus is suddenly very afraid.

It is young Lucy who comes to his rescue by pointing out that while the tributes themselves have nothing to lose, their families back home stand to get hurt if they kill Coriolanus. They soon reach their final destination and are unceremoniously tipped out of the truck. Coriolanus soon realizes that he, together with the tributes, has been dumped into the monkey cage at the zoo.

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