Dawn is breaking (Monday morning) right around the time Holden makes it outside. He doesn't want to spend Phoebe's money by staying at a hotel, so he decides to get his bags and sleep at the train station.
Don't ever try it, he cautions, since it's depressing.
Then he thinks about the episode that just passed. At first he wonders what Mr. Antolini will tell his wife, but mostly he just worries about the "flitty pass" he just experienced.
But then he's not sure if it was a flitty pass or not. Maybe the guy just likes to pat people on the head while they're sleeping. How can you tell?
He feels guilty then, since it was nice of the Antolinis to have him come over so late at night. Maybe he shouldn't have left like that, he thinks.
To get his mind off matters, Holden picks up a magazine someone left in the station and reads an article about how you're supposed to look if your hormones are working right.
Holden thinks he looks just like the guy who has lousy hormones, which concerns him.
It also says that if you have any sores in your mouth that haven't healed in a while, you probably have cancer (or at least, this is Holden's interpretation of the article).
He has a sore in his mouth, so he believes he has cancer, too. Lousy hormones and cancer.
Holden goes for a walk, figuring that, even if he's not hungry, he really ought to eat some breakfast by now.
He has a good laugh at two men hoisting up a Christmas tree, but then he feels like vomiting.
He finds breakfast a difficult task, since it's hard to swallow when you're depressed about something.
Walking down a Christmas-y Fifth Avenue, Holden looks around for the nuns he met earlier, in case they're around someplace taking up a collection.
He remembers going shopping with Phoebe around this time last year, and how she tried on about twenty pairs of those shoes that take hours to lace up and drove the salesman mad.
Then Holden starts getting this feeling, every time he crosses a street, that as soon as he steps off the curb he'll go "down, down, down" and disappear before he ever reaches the other side.
He's so nervous that he keeps talking aloud to his brother Allie, saying over and over, "Allie, don't let me disappear." Then, when he does get to the other side, he thanks Allie.
By the time he gets to the Sixties streets, he has to sit down and rest, he's been so worked up about the whole thing.
That's about the time he decides he's really fed up with everything. He'll just give Phoebe back her money, and then hitchhike out West. He could pretend to be a deaf-mute, and that way everyone would leave him alone. Especially if he married a deaf-mute girl.
So he goes into a store to put a pad and pencil to write Phoebe a good-bye note. Then he heads off to her school to deliver the note.
Phoebe's school is the same one Holden went to when he was a kid. He says it's exactly the same as he remembers.
There's no one really around – no adults, anyway – since everyone's in class.
Holden sits down and writes the note to Phoebe, detailing that he can't wait around until Wednesday and that she should meet him at the museum during her lunch so he can return her Christmas money. (The museum is right next to the school.)
Holden folds the note up so that no nosy people will open it. He plans on giving it to someone in the principal's office to pass it on to Phoebe.
He sits down on the stairs (to wait for his nausea to pass) and is disgusted that someone has written "fuck you" on the wall. It makes him crazy that there's a bunch of kids that will ask what that means, and then some dirty kid will tell them, and then they'll have to think about it, even worry about it for days.
He wants to kill whomever wrote it, but he knows that, if given the chance, he probably wouldn't have the guts to smash his head on the concrete. This is even more depressing than the "fuck you" that's written on the wall.
Holden rubs it off the wall, but is nervous that someone will see him doing it and think he wrote it.
There's no one around the principal's office except for an elderly woman who appears to be a receptionist. He hands her the note, chats for a while, doesn't correct her assumption that Pencey is a good school, and leaves.
He passes another "fuck you" sign on the way out, but can't rub out this one, as it's scratched in. He reflects that, with all the time in the world, you could never rub out even half the "fuck you" signs in the world.
Because he has some time to kill before meeting Phoebe, Holden contemplates giving Jane a buzz. Not at all to our surprise, he declines to do so.
While he's hanging around the museum waiting for Phoebe, two little kids run up and ask him about the mummies.
Holden informs one of the kids that his fly's unzipped, but the kid just zips it up, totally unfazed.
They want to know where the mummies from the "toons" (tombs) are.
Holden horses around with them a bit; turns out they're brothers, and one does all the talking. He leads them to the Egyptian wing of the museum and explains how mummification worked.
As he's taking them down the rather spooky hallway to get to the mummies room, the kids get scared and end up taking off.
On his way out, Holden sees another "fuck you" written in red crayon on the wall. He takes this as proof that there's nothing really peaceful or sacred around. If he were buried, for example, somebody would probably write "fuck you" on his tombstone.
Holden heads to the bathroom and sort of passes out as he's leaving. But after that, he says, he feels just dandy.
While he waits for Phoebe, he thinks about how, if he does run away, he might not see his family for at least a couple years.
When Phoebe finally gets there, she's late, wearing his red hunting hat, and dragging a huge suitcase along behind her. She informs Holden that she's running away with him.
Holden, feeling dizzy again, tells her she can't. They argue for a bit until he yells at her to "shut up" and she starts crying.
He reminds her that she's got to stick around to be in the play, and she cries even harder. He tells us that he's glad she's crying – that he almost hates her at that moment. He thinks he "[hates] her most because she [won't] be in that play any more if she [goes] away with [him]."
Finally, Holden tells her to get up off the steps (they're still outside the museum) and come with him. She won't, so he takes the suitcase and checks it inside. He wants to walk her back to school, but she's having none of it. All she does is take off his hunting hat and chuck it in his face.
She refuses to go back to school and tells him (for the first time in her life, Holden says) to shut up.
Holden gives a little and says he'll let her skip school if she comes to the zoo with him, but her answer is ambiguous as to whether or not that's sufficient. She just runs across the street.
Holden starts walking to the zoo, since he knows she'll follow him. She's still in a huff, as she walks on the other side of the street from him and won't laugh at anything.
After checking out the sea lions and so forth, they go through a tunnel to get to the carousel, which Holden is happy to see is still playing the same music it did when he was a kid.
Though Phoebe says she's "too big," Holden gets her to ride the carousel. He tries to give her the rest of her money back after he buys the ticket, but she won't let him.
She asks him to "please" keep it for her, which Holden finds depressing.
He watches all the kids go around on the carousel; Phoebe keeps trying to grab for the gold ring, which makes him nervous that she'll fall off.
That's the thing, though, he says, if a kid wants to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them.
She tries to get him to ride next, telling him she's not mad at him anymore, but he says she should ride again.
Phoebe gives him a kiss and puts the red hunting hat back on his head as it starts to rain.
She makes him promise he's not going to run away before she gets back on the carousel for another ride.
Holden sits around in the pouring rain, watching Phoebe ride while everyone else heads in for cover. He says he's near crying, that's how happy it makes him to watch Phoebe going around and around on the carousel.