Chapter 19 Summary
Of the six remaining contestants in the Hunger Games, four are affected by the rule change that will allow two tributes from the same district to win the games as a team. There are still two Careers from District 2, and there are Peeta and Katniss. Up to this point, Kat has not really understood what Peeta has done and what he has pretended to do, but regardless of his true intentions, Kat will have to team up with Peeta now. If she returns home without Peeta, she will be ostracized. So Kat sets a fire as a distraction and sets out to find her fellow tribute.
Kat reasons that if Peeta has indeed been stabbed by Cato, then he is lucky to still be alive. He would not have been able to go very far and he would have needed water to get there. Kat returns to the tracker jacker area and begins to search for Peeta near the ponds. Although Kat is a fantastic hunter, she fails to find Peeta. However, he reveals his presence to her. Peeta has camouflaged himself so well that he is practically invisible beneath mud and reeds.
Kat begins to tend to Peeta’s wounds. Peeta pulls Kat close and whispers that as far as the world is concerned they are star-crossed lovers. He tells her that it would not hurt for her to kiss him at some point. However, for the time being, Kat’s priorities are to clean and tend to Peeta’s wounds. They are bad. Peeta’s leg has been cut through to the bone, and the wound has begun to fester. Although Kat’s mother treats people injured in the mines of District 12, Kat has never had a stomach for treating people. Killing game is much easier.
Kat does her best with the tools at hand. She uses the leaves that Rue used to treat her tracker jacker stings and she uses the burn ointment as well. She feeds Peeta dried fruit and moves him to a more isolated area. When Peeta begins to tell Kat what do if he should die, Kat kisses him to stop him from talking. Suddenly, a parachute falls to the ground. Inside is a bowl of hot broth. Kat realizes that the message Haymitch is communicating is absolutely clear: romance will attract sponsors who are willing to pay for Peeta’s treatment. With that in mind, Kat begins to care for Peeta just like her mother used to care for her father.