Chapter 23 Summary
Katniss has just killed an unarmed woman in the Capitol, and it turns out that there was no one nearby that she could have been calling on for help. However, Katniss has little time to worry over her actions. The Peacekeepers could find them at any minute. Outside the dead woman’s home is a crowd of people and a screen that is calling upon the people of the Capitol to search for Katniss and her squad. They search the woman’s closets and find disguises before leaving. Cressida is still with Katniss, and looking out the window she is able to figure out where they are in the Capitol. It turns out that they are not far from Snow’s mansion.
Cressida leads Katniss and the others into the city. At first, she is not sure where they should go. She eventually settles on a crowded shop that sells fur undergarments. Inside, she approaches the owner of the shop, Tigris. At first, Katniss thinks that Tigris looks like a Capitol woman who has had one surgery too many. However, she then realizes that this woman used to have Effie Trinket’s job in the Games, though she never worked with District 12. Cressida says that Plutarch had vouched for her, and Tigris takes them into a back room.
Katniss is worried because as much as she does not want President Snow to know where she is, she would prefer that Coin and Plutarch remain unaware of her whereabouts as well. After all, it would reveal that she has lied about the entire assassination mission, which is now starting to sound very ridiculous, especially since so many people have died. Finally, she admits to the others that she lied about the mission, and they explain that everyone knew all along. Katniss is still worried that she has failed everyone with her ridiculous plan, but Gale argues that the mission has been quite successful in exposing weaknesses in the Capitol’s defense. They reaffirm their commitment to assassinate President Snow.
That night while everyone is asleep, Katniss overhears Peeta and Gale talking to each other. They are explaining to each other that Katniss loves the other. Peeta argues that Katniss loves Gale because she has known him for so long. Gale argues that Katniss never kissed him the way that she kissed Peeta during the Quarter Quell. It is clear that Peeta has won her. Neither seems convinced. When Peeta asks who Gale thinks she will choose, Gale replies that Katniss will choose the one without whom she cannot survive.