Catcher In The Rye: Act II, Part 2

When we last left our hero, he was in the Lavender Room at the Edmont Hotel. The three ugly ladies from Seattle who he’d been dancing and drinking with got up to leave because they wanted to get up early to catch the first show at Radio City Music Hall, which depressed Holden to no end.


Holden sits on a worn, “vomity-looking” chair in the hotel lobby. He’s loosened his tie, undone some shirt buttons and stares out into space, one leg thrown over the arm of the chair.

Next to him, a JANITOR vacuums the lobby rug, standing in one place and only getting what he can reach at arm’s length.


A Doberman pinscher squats to pee on an immaculate green lawn in front of a well-kept house.

MRS. CAULFIELD, 43, slender with dark hair, opens the front door of the house and steps onto the porch.

MRS. CAULFIELD: Shoo! Get out of here! Go on!

The dog runs off. Mrs. Caulfield comes down the front walk and stands, hands on her hips, staring at the house next door.


A club swimming pool at the height of summer – kids splash in the water and run back and forth on the pool deck while mothers gather together on recliners and towels to gossip.

JANE GALLAGHER, 15, long brown hair, thin but with a nice build, wearing a blue swimming suit and white-rimmed sunglasses, lies on her stomach next to the pool, reading a book.

Holden appears at the pool’s edge wearing red swimming trunks and carrying his towel. He spots Jane and stops.


Jane looks at him over the top of her sunglasses.

HOLDEN: I think we’re neighbors.

Jane goes back to reading.

HOLDEN: Sorry about my mother coming over the other day, I really am. Look, it wasn’t me. I don’t give a goddamn where your dog wants to relieve himself. Honestly. She can get very worked up about these things–

Jane closes her book and sits up.

JANE: What’s your name?

HOLDEN: Holden. You’re Jane, right? I’ve seen you you around. I mean, I know we’re neighbors. Your mother drives a LaSalle convertible, right?

JANE: She does.

HOLDEN: Whatcha reading?

JANE: The Age of Innocence. Have you read it?

HOLDEN: Oh, yeah. That’s a helluva book. It really is. Lots of– You know–

JANE: You’ve never read it.

Holden shakes his head no. He scratches his chest and looks up at the sky.

HOLDEN: Know what I really feel like doing? I feel like golfing. You feel like golfing?

Jane looks around the pool at all the SCREAMING kids and nods yes.

JANE: I should warn you, though, I’m quite good.

Holden offers her a hand and pulls her up from her sitting position.


Jane stands in the tee box, her ball positioned. She wiggles her butt, trying to find a good position and gripping and re-gripping her club.

Holden stands behind her, watching her ass.

JANE: What do you think? Do I look ready?

HOLDEN: You look ready to me.

Jane takes a big swing back and digs down at the ball. It pops up in the air a little and then lands about eight feet in front of them.

JANE: Mulligan?

She takes another ball out of the pocket of her shorts and tees it up. She positions herself again, wiggles her ass and then takes another swing. The ball flies off into some rough about 15 feet away.

HOLDEN: You had your eyes open, right?

JANE: Oh! No! I forgot that part!

She leaves the tee box grinning. As she walks past Holden, she punches him in the shoulder.

JANE: Smart ass.

He tees up his ball.


It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon and Jane and Holden lie on the floor of Jane’s screened-in porch playing checkers.

HOLDEN: Why don’t you take some of your kings out of the back row?

Jane doesn’t answer. Her face is scrunched up with concentration.

Suddenly MR. CUDAHY, 45, Jane’s stepfather, lurches through the door from the house and out onto the porch.

MR. CUDAHY: Janey, we got any cigarettes around here?

Jane doesn’t look up. She puts a finger on one of her checkers as if she’s going to move it, then changes her mind.

MR. CUDAHY: Hey, I asked you a question. We got any cigarettes?

Jane stares at the checker board. Mr. Cudahy stands there, swaying slightly. Abruptly, he turns and leaves.

HOLDEN: What the hell was that about?

Jane stares down at the checker board. Suddenly, tears fall down onto the board and she rubs them away with her fingers as she SNIFFLES.

Holden gets up on his knees and slides across the floor to her. She sits up and he hugs her. She starts to cry harder. Unable to stop her, he starts to kiss her all over – her eyes, nose, forehead, eyebrows, ears. He hesitates when he gets to her mouth and she turns her face away.

She gets up and goes inside the house. A moment later she reappears pulling on a cardigan sweater.

JANE: Let’s go. Let’s go see a movie or something.

Holden gets up.


Holden and Jane sit in a darkened theater watching a movie.

He reaches over and takes her hand and they sit quietly, watching the movie.


Holden rides in the back of a cab, his head leaned back as he  watches the driver,  HOROWITZ, 57, maneuver around a corner.

HOLDEN: Hey, you ever pass by the lagoon in Central Park? Down by Central Park South?

HOROWITZ: The what?

HOLDEN: The lagoon. That little lake, like, there. Where the ducks are. You know.

HOROWITZ: Yeah, what about it?

HOLDEN: Well, you know the ducks that swim around in it? In the springtime and all? Do you happen to know where they go in the wintertime, by any chance?

HOROWITZ: Where who goes?

HOLDEN: The ducks. Do you know, by any chance? I mean does somebody come around in a truck or something and take them away or do they fly away by themselves – go south or something?

Horowitz turns all the way around in his seat to give Holden a look.

HOROWITZ: How the hell should I know? How the hell should I know a stupid thing like that?

HOLDEN: Well, don’t get sore about it.

HOROWITZ: Who’s sore? Nobody’s sore.

Horowitz concentrates on driving for moment.

HOROWITZ: The fish don’t go no place. They stay right where they are, the fish. Right in the goddamn lake.

HOLDEN: The fish– that’s different. The fish is different. I’m talking about the ducks.

HOROWITZ: What’s different about it? Nothin’s different about it. It’s tougher for the fish, the winter and all, than it is for the ducks, for Chrissake. Use your head for Chrissake.”

HOLDEN: All right. What do they do, the fish and all, when that lake is a solid block of ice, people skating on it and all?

Horowitz turns all the way around in his seat.

HOROWITZ: What the hellaya mean what do they do? They stay right where they are, for Chrissake!

HOLDEN: They can’t just ignore the ice. They can’t just ignore it.

HOROWITZ (shouting): Who’s ignoring it? Nobody’s ignoring it.

The taxi begins to swerve and Holden grabs on to the door handle to keep from sliding around in the back seat.

HOROWITZ (CONT.): They live right in the goddamn ice. It’s their nature, for Chrissake. They get frozen right in one position for the whole winter.

HOLDEN: Yeah? What do they eat? I mean, if they’re frozen solid,, they can’t swim around looking for food and all.

HOROWITZ: Their bodies, for Chrissake. Their bodies take in nutrition right through the ice. They got their pores open the whole time. That’s their nature, for Chrissake. See what I mean?


He stares out the window and Horowitz turns his attention back to driving.

HOLDEN: Would you care to stop off and have a drink with me?

HOROWITZ: I ain’t got no time for liquor, bud.

Horowitz guides the taxi over to the side of the road. A blinking neon sign visible through the car window says, “Ernie’s.” Holden hands Horowitz some cash and opens the car door.

HOROWITZ: Listen, if you was a fish, Mother Nature’d take care of you, wouldn’t she? Right? You don’t think them fish just die when it gets to be winter, do ya?

HOLDEN: No, but–

HOROWITZ: You’re goddamn right they don’t.

Holden gets out of the car and Horowitz floors it, SQUEALING his tires as he drives away.

[ I’m going to outline a few scenes instead of writing them out]


Ernie’s Bar is packed with people, many of the prep school and college students. Ernie, a large black man, 50, is up on stage playing the piano to a hushed room. When he finishes, the crowd goes wild.

Holden squeezes through the crowd to get to a table, which is against a wall and behind a pole. He orders a drink and eavesdrops on the couple at the table next to his, where a guy tells his date about someone who tried to commit suicide while also giving her a “feel” under the table.

Suddenly LILLIAN SIMMONS, a girl Holden’s older brother used to date, descends upon the table, followed by her date. She tries to ingratiate herself to Holden, much to the annoyance of the date. She wants Holden to come drink with them and he says he’s just leaving, which means he has to get up and leave.


Holden rides in the elevator with MAURICE, the elevator operator. Maurice asks him if he’s interested in “having a good time.” He says it’s “five bucks for a throw, fifteen bucks until noon.” Holden agrees to a throw and gets out at his floor.

Holden stands in front of the bathroom mirror checking his hair. He turns on the faucet and tries putting water on it.

He holds his hand up to his mouth and breathes into it to check to see if his breath smells. He shrugs and gets out his toothbrush to brush his teeth.

Holden paces around the room.

There is a KNOCK at the door and he rushes to answer it and falls over his suitcase and falls over. Recovering, he opens the door while still rubbing his knee.

SUNNY, 17, wearing a polo coat and a green dress, her hair dyed blond but dark at the roots, stands in the doorway.

SUNNY: You the guy Maurice said?

HOLDEN: Yes, yes, I believe I am. Come in, won’t you?

Sunny comes in, takes her coat off and throws it on the bed. She sits down on the chair that goes with the desk, crosses her legs and jiggles her right foot up and down. Holden sits down in the easy chair and offers her a cigarette.

SUNNY: I don’t smoke.

HOLDEN: Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jim Steele.

SUNNY: Ya got a watch on? Hey, how old are you anyways?

HOlDEN: Twenty-two

SUNNY: Like fun you are.

HOLDEN: How old are you?

SUNNY: Old enough to know better.

She stands up and pulls the green dress up over her head. Holden stubs out his cigarette and jumps up, suddenly nervous. Sunny stands there in a pink slip.

HOLDEN: So– Ah, what’s your name?

SUNNY: Sunny. Let’s go, hey.

HOLDEN: Don’t you feel like talking for awhile? Are you in a big hurry? I thought perhaps you might care to chat for awhile.

Sunny goes over to the bed and picks up the green dress.

SUNNY: Ya got a hanger? I don’t want my dress all wrinkly.

Holden goes to the closet, gets out a hanger and hangs the dress up. Sunny walks around the room and stops to read the menu on the desk.

HOLDEN: So, ah– Do you work every night?

SUNNY: Yeah– Let’s go hey. I haven’t got all–

HOLDEN: Look, I don’t feel very much like myself tonight. I’ve had a rough night. Honest to God. I’ll pay you and all, but do you mind very much if we don’t do it?

Sunny walks over to Holden and gets right up to his face.

SUNNY: What’sa matter?

HOLDEN: Nothing. Nothing’s the matter. The thing is, I had an operation very recently.

He backs away from her and sits in the easy chair again.

SUNNY: Yeah? Where?

HOLDEN: On my– wuddayacallit– clavichord.

SUNNY: Yeah? That’s tough.

She climbs into his lap.

SUNNY: You’re cute. You look like that guy in the movies. You know. What the heck is his name? He was in that picture with Melvine Douglas?

She starts sucking on his neck and running her hand along his crotch. He pushes her away.

HOLDEN: Do you mind cutting that out? I’m not in the mood. I just had an operation.

SUNNY: Listen, I was sleepin’ when that crazy Maurice called me up–

HOLDEN: I’ll pay you. I really will. It’s just that I”m practically just recovering–

She jumps up off his lap.

SUNNY: What the heck did you tell that crazy Maurice you wanted a girl for then? If you just had a goddamn operation? Huh?

Holden gets up and goes over to the desk to get his wallet. He takes out a $5 bill and hands it to her.

HOLDEN: Thanks a lot. Thanks a million.

SUNNY: This is five. It costs ten.

HOLDEN: Maurice said five. He said fifteen til noon and only five for a throw.

SUNNY: Ten for a throw.

HOLDEN: He said five. I’m sorry but that’s all I’m gonna shell out.

Sunny shrugs.

SUNNY: Would you mind getting me my frock? Or would that be too much trouble?

Holden goes and gets her dress and watches as she puts it on and then grabs her coat off the bed. She opens the door.

SUNNY: So long, crumb-bum.

She goes out. Holden crosses to the door and gently shuts it behind her.