During the winter, Cathy has little time to think of Linton because she is nursing her father, whom she thinks is dying. While walking one day, Cathy's hat blows over the garden wall. Nelly helps Cathy over the wall to fetch it, but Cathy cannot scale the other side by herself. While Nelly searches for a key to open the gate, Heathcliff appears. He chides Cathy for writing letters to Linton for a few months and then suddenly stopping. He claims that she is playing games with Linton's affection and that he is now dying of a broken heart. Heathcliff tells Cathy that he will be away for a week and encourages her to visit her cousin. Cathy feels extremely guilty about what Heathcliff has told her, so she and Nelly take off for Wuthering Heights the next morning.
Again, Nelly is convinced to do something that she should probably not do — escorting Cathy to Wuthering Heights. Nonetheless, Cathy is determined to prove her loyalty to her sick cousin, and is eager to dote on him. Nelly's own devotion to Cathy illustrates the difference between Catherine and her daughter. Because of Catherine's selfishness and willfulness, Nelly had no trouble contradicting Catherine and making her life miserable, but with Cathy, Nelly's actions are different. Nelly is truly fond of Cathy and therefore has very little difficulty rationalizing a way to agree to Cathy's requests.
Michaelmas the feast of the archangel Michael, September 29.
diurnal occurring each day; daily.
Slough of Despond deep despair or dejection; from the "Slough of Despond" in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.