Click here to Download The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book by Suzanne Collins having PDF Size 13.4 MB and No of Pages 431.
As the Peacekeepers herded the tributes across the station to the main entrance, Coriolanus felt his chance slipping away. He had not secured her trust. He had not done anything except perhaps amuse her for a moment. Clearly, she thought he was useless, and maybe she was right, but with all that was at stake, he had to try. He ran across the station, catching up to the pack of tributes as they reached the door.
The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book by Suzanne Collins
|Name of Book||The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes|
|PDF Size||13.4 MB|
|No of Pages||431|
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“Excuse me,” he said to the Peacekeeper in charge. “I’m Coriolanus Snow from the Academy.” He inclined his head toward Lucy Gray. “This tribute has been assigned to me for the Hunger Games. I wonder if I might accompany her to her quarters.” “That’s why you been hanging around here all morning? To catch a ride to the show?” asked the Peacekeeper.
He reeked of liquor and his eyes were rimmed with red. “Well, by all means, Mr. Snow. Join the party.” It was then that Coriolanus saw the truck that awaited the tributes. Less a truck than a cage on wheels. The bed was enclosed by metal bars and topped with a steel roof. He again flashed back to the circus of his childhood, where he had seen wild animals — big cats and bears — confined to such transport.
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Following orders, the tributes presented their cuffs for removal and climbed into the cage. Coriolanus hung back but then saw Lucy Gray watching him and knew this was the moment of judgment. If he backed down now, it would all be over. She would think he was a coward and dismiss him entirely. He took a deep breath and hoisted himself up into the cage.
The door slammed shut behind him, and the truck lurched forward, knocking him off balance. He reflexively grabbed for the bars on his right and wound up with his forehead crammed between them as a couple of the tributes fell into him. He pushed back forcefully and twisted his body around to face his fellow passengers.
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Everyone had hold of at least one bar now except the girl with the broken tooth, who was clinging to the leg of the boy from her district. As the truck rumbled down a wide avenue, they began to settle in. At the Peacekeeper station, their retinas were scanned and checked against the Capitol files.
Their book bags were taken and a guard escorted them down a long, gray corridor and onto an elevator that plunged down at least twenty-five floors. Coriolanus had never been so far underground and, surprisingly, found he liked it. Much as he loved the Snows’ penthouse apartment, he’d felt so vulnerable when the bombs had fallen during the war.
Here, it seemed nothing could reach him. The elevator doors parted, and they stepped into a gigantic open laboratory. Rows of research tables, unfamiliar machines, and glass cases spread out into the distance. Coriolanus turned to the guard, but she closed the doors and left them without giving further instructions. “Shall we?” he asked Clemensia. The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book
They began to make their way cautiously into the lab. “I have a terrible feeling I’m going to break something,” she whispered. They walked along a wall of glass cases fifteen feet high. Inside, a menagerie of creatures, some familiar, some altered to the point that no label could easily be attached, roamed and panted and flopped around in apparent unhappiness.
Oversized fangs, claws, and flippers swiped the glass as they passed. A young man in a lab coat intercepted them and led them to a section of reptile cases. Here they found Dr. Gaul, peering into a large terrarium filled with hundreds of snakes. They were artificially bright, their skins almost glowing in shades of neon pink, yellow, and blue.
No longer than a ruler and not much thicker than a pencil, they twisted into a psychedelic carpet that covered the bottom of the case. “Ah, here you are,” Dr. Gaul said with a grin. “Say hello to my new babies.” Jessup followed Lucy Gray with his eyes as she jumped the last yard to the field, but he seemed unable to move. Was he paralyzed by the fall? The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book
She approached him with caution and knelt just out of reach of his long arms. Trying to smile, she said, “You go to sleep now, you hear, Jessup? You go on, it’s my turn to stand guard.” Something seemed to register, her voice or perhaps the repetition of words she’d spoken to him over the past two weeks. The rigidity eased in his face, and his eyelids fluttered.
“That’s right. Let yourself go. How are you going to dream if you don’t go to sleep?” Lucy Gray scooted forward and laid a hand on his head. “It’s okay. I’ll watch over you. I’m right here. I’m staying right here.” Jessup stared at her fixedly as the life slowly ebbed out of his body and his chest became still. Lucy Gray smoothed his bangs and sat back on her heels.
She heaved a deep sigh, and Coriolanus could feel her exhaustion. She shook her head as if to wake herself, then grabbed the nearest bottle of water, twisting off the top and draining it in a few gulps. A second followed, then a third, before she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. She stood up and examined Jessup, then opened another bottle and poured it over his face, washing away the foam and spittle. The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book Download
From her pocket she took the white linen napkin that had lined the picnic box Coriolanus brought her the final night. She leaned down and used the edge to gently shut his eyelids, then shook out the cloth and covered his face to hide it from the audience. Lucky looked as spellbound as the snakes when the cameras cut back to him, eyes a bit glazed, mouth slackly open.
He snapped back when he saw his own image on the feed, and turned his attention to a stone-faced Dr. Gaul. “Well, Head Gamemaker, take . . . a . . . bow!” Heavensbee Hall erupted into a standing ovation, but Coriolanus could not peel his eyes off Dr. Gaul. What was going on behind that inscrutable expression? Did she attribute the snakes’ behavior to Lucy Gray’s singing, or did she suspect foul play?
Even if Dr. Gaul knew about the handkerchief, perhaps she would forgive him, as the result had been so dramatic. Dr. Gaul allowed herself a small nod of acknowledgment. “Thank you. But the focus today should be not on me, but on Gaius Breen. Perhaps his classmates might share some remembrances with us.” Lepidus leaped into action in Heavensbee Hall, collecting stories from Gaius’s classmates. The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book Download
It was well that Dr. Gaul had given him a heads-up, because while everybody had a joke or a funny story to share, only Coriolanus managed to tie in the heroic loss, the snakes, and the retribution they had witnessed in the arena. “We could never let the death of such a stellar youth of the Capitol go without repercussions. When hit, we hit back twice as hard, just as Dr. Gaul has mentioned in the past.”
Lepidus tried to turn the conversation to Lucy Gray’s extra-ordinary performance with the snakes, but Coriolanus only said, “She’s remarkable. But Dr. Gaul is right. This moment belongs to Gaius. Let’s save Lucy Gray for tomorrow.” After a full half hour of remembrance, Lepidus bid the show’s adieus to Festus and Io, as Coral and Circ had succumbed to venom.
Coriolanus gave Festus a bear hug, surprisingly emotional at seeing his reliable friend leave the dais. He felt the loss of Io as well, since she veered more toward clinical than combative, which was more than he could say for the others remaining. Except perhaps Persephone, who he decided to share his supper hour with. Cannibals over cutthroats. The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book Download
The thought of Lucy Gray tormented him, but it was tricky getting information about her. If he went around the base asking questions, someone might figure out his role in the Games, and he wanted to avoid that at all costs. The squad’s designated day off was Sunday, and their duties ended Saturday at five.
As new recruits, they were confined to base until the following weekend. Then Coriolanus planned to go into town and surreptitiously ask the locals about Lucy Gray. Smiley said the Peacekeepers hung out at an old coal warehouse called the Hob, where you could purchase homemade liquor and maybe buy yourself some company.
District 12 had a town square as well, the same one used for the reaping, with a smattering of small shops and tradespeople, but that was more active in the daytime. Except for Beanpole, who pulled latrine duty for his shortcomings, his bunkmates headed to the rec room to play poker after Saturday’s dinner. Coriolanus lingered over his noodles and canned meat in the mess hall. The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book Free
Since Smiley was usually distracting them all with his prattle, it was the first time he had to really take stock of the other Peacekeepers. They ranged in age from late teens to one old man who looked to be the Grandma’am’s contemporary. Some chatted among themselves, but most sat silent and depressed, sucking down their noodles.
Was he looking, he wondered, at his future? Coriolanus opted to spend his evening in the barrack. Having left his last coins with his family, he would have no money for gambling, not even pocket change, until he was paid on the first of the month. More importantly, he had received a letter from Tigris that he wanted to read in private.
He soaked in his solitude, free of the sight, sound, and smell of his comrades. All the together-ness overwhelmed him, used as he was to ending his days alone. He climbed onto his bunk and carefully opened his letter. Everything froze for an instant, then chaos erupted. A fist caught Coriolanus’s mouth, sending his own fists into action. He struck out arbitrarily, focused only on securing his own circle of safety. The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book Free
The same animal wildness he’d experienced when the tributes had hunted him down in the arena swept over him. Dr. Gaul’s voice echoed in his ears. “That’s mankind in its natural state. That’s humanity undressed.” And here was naked humanity again, and here again he was a part of it. Punching, kicking, his teeth bared in the darkness.
A horn outside the Hob blared repeatedly, and truck headlights flooded the area by the door. Whistles blew, and voices shouted for the dispersal of the crowd. People lurched toward the exit. Coriolanus fought the wave, trying to locate Lucy Gray, but then decided the best chance of finding her would be out front.
He jostled his way through the bodies, still throwing the occasional punch, and spilled out into the night air, where the locals took flight and the Peacekeepers gathered in a loose bunch, making only a weak show of pursuit. Most of them had not even been on duty, and there was no organized unit to address the spontaneous eruption. The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book Free
In the dark, nobody was even sure who they’d been fighting. Better to let it lie. Coriolanus found it unnerving, though; unlike at the hanging, the miners had fought back. Sucking on a split lip, he positioned himself to watch the door, but the last stragglers wandered out without any sign of Lucy Gray, the Covey, or even Billy Taupe.
He felt frustrated at having been so close but unable to talk to her. Was there another exit to the Hob? Yes, he remembered a door by the stage, which must have allowed them to slip out. Mayfair Lipp had not been so fortunate. She stood flanked by Peacekeepers, not under arrest but not free to go either.
The second change unnerved him. When they reported for marksmanship, they were informed that Coriolanus’s suggestion to shoot the birds around the gallows had been approved. Beforehand, however, the Citadel wanted them to trap a hundred or so jabberjays and mockingjays and return them to the lab, unharmed, for study. The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes PDF Book Free
His squad had been tapped to help position cages in the trees that afternoon, which meant he’d be working with scientists from Dr. Gaul’s lab. A team had arrived by hovercraft that morning. He’d only ever seen a handful of people at the Citadel, but the idea of encountering anyone from the lab, where no doubt everyone knew the details of his trickery with the snakes and subsequent disgrace, set him on edge. And then a terrible thought hit him: Surely, Dr. Gaul wouldn’t oversee the bird roundup herself?