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Nelly reminds Lockwood (and the reader) that the events she has just recounted happened only a year ago: "These things happened last winter, sir." The frame of Nelly's storytelling and the events of the novel are now falling into place.
Despite his own failing health, Edgar is worried about Cathy's future. Although he understands the seriousness of Linton's health problems, Edgar tells her that he does not mind her marrying Linton as long as she will be happy. He hopes, however, that Catherine will be able to keep the Grange for herself.
Edgar writes to Linton inviting him to visit the Grange. Under instructions from Heathcliff, Linton replies that he is not allowed to do so. Cathy and Linton persuade Edgar to permit them to take a walk together once a week under Nelly's supervision.
In this chapter Edgar's physical decline becomes painfully apparent. Aware of his own impending death, he fears for the future of his daughter. Although he does not approve of Cathy's relationship with Edgar, he permits it to continue, for he wants to see her happy. He even tells her that he does not mind her marrying Linton if it pleases her. Although she is forbidden to go to Wuthering Heights, Edgar allows his daughter to meet young Linton on the moors in the vicinity of the Grange.
By Edgar approving his daughter's marriage to Linton, he is playing directly into Heathcliff's plan of revenge. If Cathy marries his dying son, Heathcliff will soon gain control of Thrushcross Grange and all of Edgar's property.