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Cathy and Nelly set out on their ponies to the appointed place to meet Linton. However, they are told by a young boy that they must ride a bit further to meet Master Linton. Riding onward, they come close to Wuthering Heights. There they find Linton is lying on the heather waiting for them. He finds it extremely difficult to sustain any kind of conversation with the women. Cathy, soon bored with the idle talk and Linton's discomfort, says they must leave. Linton begs her not to go for another half- hour at least.
Linton soon dozes off to sleep. Cathy remarks to Nelly that this meeting seems like a task Linton is forced to perform to please his father. Cathy tells the young man that she really must go. She and Nelly make a quick departure after promising to meet him again next Thursday.
Chapter 26 clearly indicates that the dying Linton is being manipulated by Heathcliff. The boy is so terrified of his bullying father that he will do anything he is asked for fear of physical punishment. Cathy is perceptive enough to realize that Heathcliff has a part to play in these meetings. She remarks to Nelly that it is like Linton has been forced to meet her in order to please his father.
The strain under which young Linton lives at the Heights exacerbates his poor health. He is pictured as a pathetic young man, both mentally and physically; the image is similar to that painted of the dying Edgar.