The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 12
Finally, Holden gets someone to respond to his inquiry about the fate of the ducks on the Central Park lagoon when it freezes. The response comes from Horowitz, the cab driver who takes Holden to the piano bar, a guy Holden aptly describes as "touchy." Horowitz actually gets hung up on what happens to the fish of the lagoon, approaching a sort of mania about the subject that leaves Holden as depressed as ever.
When Holden arrives at Ernie's, he finds it full of "prep school jerks and college jerks" (pg. 83), and Ernie's piano playing, flashy and melodramatic, leaves the jerks swooning with admiration and Holden choking with his usual contempt and despair. He gets stuck at the worst table in the joint, a situation somewhat eased by the fact that he can at least get served a stiff drink here. Holden gives his running commentary on the boring, dreadful conversations happening all around him, and is smoking and drinking up a rather lonely storm until one of his brother D.B.'s old flings, Lillian Simmons, recognizes him and strikes up a conversation. The conversation isn't particularly satisfying, and Holden declines an invitation to join Lillian and her Navy guy date. He says he has to leave, and goes.