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Mr. Linton's health worsens, and he stays indoors all the time. Cathy is saddened by her father's illness and tries to attend to his needs. She is also sad that she is no longer permitted to correspond with young Linton. One afternoon she goes out with Nelly for a walk, and they meet Heathcliff. He tells Cathy that Linton is languishing because of his unanswered love for her. He begs her to visit Linton to revive his spirits. Cathy is disturbed about Linton's well-being and wants to visit him. Nelly fails in her attempts to dissuade her. The next day, the two of them head towards the Heights.
This chapter is important, for it marks the beginning of the illness that will eventually result in Edgar Linton's death. It also further develops the relationship between Cathy and Linton.
Cathy's love for Edgar, her father, is further emphasized in this chapter. She is very concerned over his illness and devotes herself to attending to his needs. She says to Nelly, "I care for nothing in comparison with papa. And I'll never--never--oh, never, while I have my senses, do an act or say a word to vex him. I love him better than myself."
In addition, the vengeful Heathcliff is again at work on his evil plans. He speaks to Cathy about his son's love for her in such glowing and forceful terms that Cathy is deeply moved. He begs the girl to come to the Heights to help in Linton's healing, for "he pines for kindness as well as love; and a kind word from you would be his best medicine." The kind and determined Cathy cannot refuse Heathcliff; she makes up her mind to pay a visit to young Linton.