Feeling terrible for running from Ernie's, Holden walks forty-one blocks back to his hotel. He wishes he had his gloves, which were stolen at Pencey. He imagines finding the thief, but then decides he's too cowardly for direct confrontations.
Walking forty-one blocks in the freezing cold is definitely the act of a depressed man. As are grand visions of noble action, followed by intense self-criticism.
In the hotel, the elevator operator, Maurice, offers to send a prostitute to his room for five dollars. Holden accepts, but immediately regrets it. He's a virgin and thinks that he isn't aggressive enough to get girls, but also says he feels sorry for girls because they are "so dumb," which stops him from going all the way.
Holden accepts the offer of the prostitute out of loneliness and a desire to be more adult. But he isn't an adult, and is frightened of both sex and human contact, and immediately regrets it.
A young prostitute, Sunny, arrives. Holden tries to talk to her, but she just undresses, sits on his lap, and talks dirty. Holden tells her he can't have sex because of a recent operation on his "clavichord."
Though a child, Sunny, a teenage prostitute, is in the most "adult" of all professions: prostitution. But Holden is still a child: he wants to talk.
Holden pays Sunny five dollars, but she claims he owes her ten. He refuses. She leaves angrily, making him more depressed.
Instead of protecting Holden, the adult world tries to exploit him.