Heathcliff arrives to escort Cathy home, informing her that he punished Linton for his role in Cathy's escape. He refuses to allow Cathy to live at the Grange because he wants her to work for her keep, especially after Linton dies. Legally, both Linton and Heathcliff have greater claims to the Grange; thus, Cathy has no choice but to obey the directive of her father-in-law.
Cathy speaks out against Heathcliff, stating her love for Linton and that Heathcliff is alone in the world. As she is packing her things, Heathcliff confides in Nelly that he believes in ghosts, particularly the ghost of Catherine. Ever since her burial 18 years ago, he has been feeling her presence and seeing her. As he leaves, Heathcliff instructs Nelly not to visit Wuthering Heights, for she is not welcome.
The fullest extent of Heathcliff's cruelty, what he does to Linton, is not shown on the page; rather, readers are able to leave it to their own imagination. Nonetheless, he makes it painfully clear that Linton will never cross him again.
Although he punishes his son, Heathcliff is not entirely without feelings. The loss of Catherine has tormented him, and oddly enough, after all Heathcliff has done to other characters, many readers again tend to sympathize with him for what he has endured. Brontë evokes this sympathy through Heathcliff's explanation that he has been disturbed nightly for 18 years, yearning to be reunited with Catherine yet having her just out of reach. Heathcliff's longing to be one with Catherine for eternity is the mark of a romantic, of a man truly in love and truly tormented by the loss of his love. Yet, true to his nature, he ends the chapter being as heartless as ever, informing Nelly that she is not to visit Wuthering Heights, effectively leaving Cathy alone in her new home.