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Chapter 10 and 11

Chapter 10

Holden decides to change and go down to the nightclub in the hotel. He considers calling his kid sister, "old Phoebe," again, but realizes only his parents would pick up. What follows is a long description of Phoebe, and while Holden clearly loves both his brothers (Allie, who had the baseball glove, and D.B., the Hollywood screenwriter), it is obvious that Holden loves his little sister above all: "You should see her. You never saw a little kid so pretty and smart in your whole life." We finally get a description of Phoebe - she's ten, with red hair she wears short in the summer and long in the winter, skinny (Holden calls her "roller-skate skinny"), sensitive, affectionate, and mature for her age, but very emotional. Phoebe Caulfield writes stories about her alter ego, a girl detective named Hazle Weatherfield.

Holden goes down to the nightclub. He judges the band "putrid," and the waiter refuses to serve him a cocktail, for which Holden mentally forgives him. The next table is occupied by three 30-year old women, who laugh when they catch Holden checking them out. Despite this he goes over to ask one of them to dance, and after further giggles she consents. Though Holden judges her to be a ditzy tourist and unable even to keep up a conversation, she's an excellent dancer, prompting him to note: "That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can."

Holden dances with all three, and buys them all a couple rounds of drinks. None can carry on a conversation, but he eventually learns that they all work in the same insurance office in Seattle, Washington. At closing time they announce that they've got to get up early to see the first show at Radio City Music Hall, and leave him with the tab. Holden is more depressed with the idea of travelling across the country to go to the morning show at Radio City than he is with being stuck with the tab, and feels sorry for the three tourists. Holden leaves as well soon after, noting that no nightclub is worth staying in long unless the waiter lets you buy liquor, or unless there's a girl worth staying for.

Chapter 11

Out in the hotel lobby, Holden gets to thinking about Jane again, and Stradlater with her in a borrowed car. He's pretty certain Stradlater didn't have sex with her, but he still can't get her off his mind. He thinks back to meeting her over the summer in Maine: "the whole summer long we played tennis together almost every morning and golf almost every afternoon." She read a lot of poetry, and she was the only one Holden had ever shown Allie's baseball glove to. Holden remembers the one time he and Jane "even got close to necking." They were on her porch, playing checkers, when her stepfather (Holden calls him "the booze hound") comes out to ask if there were any cigarettes. Jane says nothing, doesn't even look up from the game, and he eventually leaves. Holden asks her what's wrong, and she still doesn't look up, but a tear falls from her face onto the checkerboard. She starts really crying, and Holden kisses her all over her face, except on the lips. Later he asks her if her stepfather had ever tried anything on her, but she says he hadn't. He concludes: "Some girls you never find out what's the matter." Holden eventually decides that Jane wouldn't even let Stradlater kiss her, and this cheers him up a bit. The lobby is deserted now, and Holden gets his coat from his room, then hails a cab to go to Ernie's - a piano bar he used to go to with his brother D.B.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4 and 5
Chapter 6 and 7
Chapter 8 and 9
Chapter 10 and 11
Chapter 12 and 13
Chapter 14 and 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17 and 18
Chapter 19 and 20
Chapter 21 and 22
Chapter 23 and 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26


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