The Spencers are about seventy years old, and, as Holden informs us, they "get a big bang out of things" such as buying an old Navajo blanket.
Also, Holden's last name is Caulfield. Holden Caulfield. Nice ring to it, isn't there?
As soon as Holden makes it into Mr. Spencer's room, he regrets having come at all. Mr. Spencer is sitting reading the Atlantic Monthly and surrounded by Vicks Nose Drops.
He is in fact wearing a ratty bathrobe, which isn't the most aesthetically pleasing sight.
The two discuss Mr. Spencer's grippe (hence the nose drops) and Mr. Thurmer, the headmaster.
They talk about life being a game – Thurmer's advice to Holden. Holden remarks to us (not to Mr. Spencer) that, sure, it is a game – if you're on the side of all the hot-shots. Otherwise, "no game."
Holden tells Spencer that his parents are going to be pretty irritated when they find out he's gotten the ax, since this is the fourth school he's been booted from.
Holden reveals to us some key information about himself: he shakes his head a lot, he says "Boy!" a lot, was sixteen at the time of the story (when he's leaving Pencey) and is seventeen now (as he's telling us the story from his hospital/ward/institution place), has gray hair, often acts like he's twelve, but occasionally acts older, except no one notices when he does.
Spencer picks his nose.
We learn that Holden hates the word "grand," on account of it being "phony."
He decides he'd better "get the hell out of there" because he feels a "lecture coming on."
And he is right. Spencer opens with, "What's the matter with you, boy?" Ugh.
Holden admits that he took five classes and failed all but one – English, and only because he'd read all the books before, at another school (before he was kicked out of that one).
Spencer then resorts to low-blows: he reads Holden's final exam essay (in history) out loud, which is utter garbage about the Egyptians and ends with a note that (roughly speaking) says, "I know this is junk, so it's OK if you flunk me, don't worry about it."
Holden is livid that Old Spencer made him read the essay out loud.
Spencer wants to know why Holden left his previous schools (like Whooton and Elkton Hills).
Holden isn't very forthcoming to his history teacher, but he tells us everything we want to know (and more). He left because he was "surrounded by phonies" and the headmaster was a "bastard." Sound familiar?
Spencer wants to know if Holden has any concerns for his future. He says Holden will, someday – when it's too late. Holden finds this depressing.
Holden gets out of there after that. As he heads out the front door he thinks he hears Spencer yelling something like "Good luck!" after him, which Holden also finds to be depressing.