Chapter 16 Summary

Before taking a more aggressive approach to the games, Kat and Rue must get some sleep. As Kat shares her body heat with Rue, she finds that she already implicitly trusts the tribute from District 11. After all, Rue could have left Kat to die but instead warned her about the tracker jacker nests. The next morning, Kat shares her plan with Rue: she wants to attack the Careers by destroying their food. Unlike Rue and Kat, they are not used to being hungry.

Although Kat does not have a specific plan, she tells Rue that they can form a plan as they return to the Cornucopia. During their hike, Rue tells Kat that her favorite thing in the world is music. In the orchards of District 11, Rue’s job was to sit in the trees and watch for the signal that the workday had ended. She communicated this to everyone else by singing to mockingjays. Rue points out that there are mockingjays in the Hunger Games arena as well, though Kat has not noticed them.

Kat needs a diversion. She and Rue collect and stack wood for three campfires. Rue will light each of the fires to draw the Careers from their camp. Kat’s job will be to destroy the food. Kat hides in a copse of trees near the camp and sees the Careers, who are still suffering from their tracker jacker stings. Kat also sees a boy from District 3 and wonders why he has been allowed to join the Careers. When the Careers see the first campfire, they take the boy from District 3 with them. Their base has been left unguarded.

The food and supplies of the Cornucopia have been rearranged. Kat thinks they have been booby-trapped but cannot figure out how. Suddenly, the fox-faced girl slips out from cover and runs up to the supplies. She carefully navigates her way through the supplies but falls at one point, quietly squealing in fear. She gets up, takes some supplies, and leaves. Why would she have been so careful and so afraid?

Kat reasons that the boy from District 3 must have used the mines that are kept around the tributes when they enter the games. They are supposed to be deactivated, but it seems that he has found a way to rearm them. Seeing that the second campfire has already been lit, Kat decides to act quickly. She sees a bag of apples and takes aim with her bow. Kat fires three shots into the bag holding the apples. As the apples drop down to the ground, the mines explode, launching Kat off her feet.