The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Summary of Chunk 4 (Chapters 8 - 11)

Having left Pencey, Holden walks to the train station to return to New York City, where his family leaves. On the train, he meets the mother of one of his classmates, and begins "shooting the old crap around a little bit," lying about his name and telling false stories about her son.

After his arrival in New York, he spends some time trying to find someone to call, but can't think of anyone, so finally takes a cab to the Edmont hotel. At the hotel, he looks out of his window and watches first a distinguished-looking man put on women's clothes, and then a man and woman squirting water at each other out of their mouths.

In a fit of loneliness, Holden then decides to call Faith Cavendish, a prostitute, to go out with, but Faith declines his invitation. He then contemplates calling his youngest sibling, "Old Phoebe." In reminiscing about her, he notes that "you never saw a little kid so pretty and smart in your whole life," though she can be "too affectionate sometimes." Finally, he decides not to wake her up and instead goes down to the hotel bar, where he "makes eyes" at three unattractive girls at the table next to his. After dancing with all three, he attempts to converse with them but finds them all rather unresponsive.

After they leave, Holden sits outside in the hotel's lobby, thinking again about Jane Gallagher. Unlike Stradlater, Holden notes that she understood the significance of Allie's glove. And unlike with most people, Holden notes that he rarely kidded with her-"You never wanted to kid Jane too much." At the climax of the chapter, he describes a moment in their relationship when she cries, presumably about her "booze hound" father, and Holden offers compassion.

These thoughts, however, make Holden even more depressed and he leaves the hotel for a city nightclub called Ernie's.

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