The Catcher in the Rye
J. D. Salinger
Contributed by Marinda Dreiling
Chapter 10

Holden thinks about calling his younger sister Phoebe again, and tells a little bit about her. She’s skinny and smart beyond her years, and Holden obviously loves her. But he again decides not to call, and changes his shirt before hitting the hotel bar.

Holden finds some girls in the hotel’s Lavender Room. Bernice, Marty and Laverne are three pretty dull women, all about thirty years old. They’re visiting from Seattle, hoping against the odds to see some famous New Yorker walk into the dumpy little hotel bar. Holden, in the mood to dance, finally gets Bernice, the blonde and the best looking of the three, out on the dance floor. Bernice does a good job cutting the rug, despite the terrible band. Eventually all three women dance with Holden, and he spends the rest of the evening at their table, sucking down cokes (because the waiter refuses to serve him a drink) and trying to get the women to talk. They know he’s young, and make little show about even being civil to him. In the end, he buys them a bunch of drinks and gets left in the bar, without girls and without drinks, the two things anyone needs, Holden says, to survive a night in a crappy hotel bar.

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