Chapter 23 Summary

Peeta and Kat decide to ration the latest gift from their sponsors. They pass the time recuperating, kissing, and eating. They also make jokes at Haymitch’s expense and Katniss is sure that the audience is enjoying their humor. No doubt, by the time they finish, Haymitch is being interviewed by the Gamemasters. Peeta and Kat consider how Haymitch could have won the games and decide that he must have outsmarted the competition. However, before long, Thresh’s image appears in the sky, meaning that Cato has killed him. Kat is distraught because she would have liked Thresh to win if she did not.

Finally, Kat decides it is time to move on. She and Peeta finish their food, and Kat says they will find more food by the end of the day. However, when they set out from their cave, Kat is shocked by how loud Peeta’s walking is. She asks him to be quiet, then asks him to remove his shoes, and finally decides that she will need to hunt on her own. In comparison to Gale, Peeta is not much of a partner for hunting and gathering. Peeta understands that he is a liability and offers to dig some roots and berries. He and Kat make a two-note signal before Kat leaves. Now that Peeta is busy digging roots and Kat is alone, she finds that the forest is full of game.

When Kat returns, she calls but does not hear Peeta respond. She calls again but still receives no response. She rushes back and sees Peeta’s bag, but Peeta is not there. She calls for Peeta and he finally returns. He has been picking berries from a nearby bush and probably did not hear her because there was rushing water nearby. However, Kat is not prepared to let it go and reminds Peeta that this is exactly what happened with Rue.

Katniss is frustrated and angry. She returns to the pack and discovers that their cheese is missing. She accuses Peeta of eating without her, but Peeta swears that he has not. He has been picking berries. Kat looks at them more closely. These are not edible berries; they are poisonous. No sooner than Kat realizes that the berries are poison than a cannon is shot. Just a hundred yards away, a hovercraft appears to collect the corpse of the fox-faced girl. Peeta worries that Cato is nearby, but Kat explains that the fox-faced girl is his kill.