Chapter 20 Summary

Peeta is lying on the ground without a heart beat. Katniss does not know what to do, but Finnick does. He closes Peeta’s nostrils, which Katniss interprets as a sign of aggression. Before she can attack Finnick, he punches Katniss away. He bends over and begins blowing air into Peeta’s mouth. Katniss recognizes this as something her mother would occasionally do to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Peeta wakes up, and the party reluctantly starts moving again.

Finnick points out that Katniss saw the force field before the rest of them and wants to know how she recognized it. Katniss lies, claiming that she heard it with the left ear that the Capitol’s doctors repaired after the last Hunger Games. She takes the lead, but she throws nuts ahead of her to keep track of the force field. Mags eats one of the nuts and says they are good, but none of the others are prepared to risk what might yet prove to be poison. Frustrated that they cannot find a way over the hill they have climbed, Katniss climbs a tree and discovers that the arena is a circular. In the middle is a wheel with the Cornucopia, surrounded by water, and then jungle.

The allies agree to make camp. Finnick and Mags start using the grass to weave mats, Peeta roasts nuts on the force field, and Katniss goes hunting. She finds a rat-like creature climbing a tree and shoots it. Its muzzle is wet, but no matter how hard she tries, Katniss cannot find a source of water. She returns to the camp, and none of the victors can figure out where the creature has found water. Peeta begins tossing scraps of meat into the force field to cook it. This, along with the grass hut Finnick and Mags have constructed, makes for a relatively pleasant evening in the arena.

A gift descends from the sky by parachute. They open it and find a metal tube with a pointed end. No one knows what the pipe is for, but Katniss knows that if Haymitch sent it, it must be useful. Suddenly she realizes that it is a spile. She has seen her father use it to draw syrup from maple trees. After some work, the allies use the spile to draw water from the trees. Refreshed, the allies begin to rest, and Finnick takes the first guard. In the middle of the night, a bell tolls twelve times, but no one knows what it means. Finnick goes to sleep.

As Katniss takes watch, there is rain. When it passes, Katniss sees a fog rise up from the shore. However, it seems unnaturally uniform in its progress up the hill. Katniss’s skin has already begun to blister when she wakes up the others to warn them that the fog is deadly.