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Chapter 21 Notes from The Catcher in the Rye

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The Catcher in the Rye Chapter 21

Holden's got the good luck to find a substitute elevator boy on duty, and he makes it up to his parents' apartment without attracting too much attention. Phoebe is asleep in D.B.'s room, where she likes to stay when he's away, and Holden sneaks quietly into the room, sitting down at a big desk and leafing through some of Phoebe's notebooks, which he gets a big kick out of.

When Holden finally wakes Phoebe up, she's obviously thrilled to see him. She chatters about the Christmas play she's going to be in, about the movie she saw that afternoon, about a boy in school she's having a kid-drama with, and she reassures Holden by telling him that their parents are out a party and won't be back until very late.

Phoebe's a smart one, though, and pretty soon she gets around to asking why Holden's home on Saturday when he's supposed to arrive on Wednesday. Despite Holden's rationalizations, Phoebe's onto him, and is soon moaning with a very parental-sounding despair that he's obviously gotten kicked out of school again, and that "'Daddy'll kill you.'" (pg. 165) Holden tries to reassure her, but Phoebe will have none of that--she pulls a pillow over her head and refuses to come out.

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