`No, she's not going to any such place,' I cried, struggling to release my arm, which he had seized: but she was almost at the doorstones already, scampering round the brow at full speed. Her appointed companion did not pretend to escort her: he shied off by the roadside, and vanished.
`Mr Heathcliff, it's very wrong,' I continued: `you know you mean no good. And there she'll see Linton, and all will be told as soon as ever we return; and I shall have the blame.
`I want her to see Linton,' he answered; `he's looking better these few days: it's not often he's fit to be seen. And we'll soon persuade her to keep the visit secret: where is the harm of it?'
`The harm of it is, that her father would hate me if he found I suffered her to enter your house; and I am convinced you have a bad design in encouraging her to do so,' I replied.
`My design is as honest as possible. I'll inform you of its whole scope,' he said. `That the two cousins may fall in love, and get married. I'm acting generously to your master: his young chit has no expectations, and should she second my wishes, she'll be provided for at once as joint successor with Linton.'
`If Linton died,' I answered, `and his life is quite uncertain, Catherine would be the heir.'
`No, she would not,' he said. `There is no clause in the will to secure it so: his property would go to me; but, to prevent disputes, I desire their union, and am resolved to bring it about.'
`And I'm resolved she shall never approach your house with me again,' I returned, as we reached the gate, where Miss Cathy waited our coming.
Heathcliff bid me be quiet; and, preceding us up the path, hastened to open the door. My young lady gave him several looks, as if she could not exactly make up her mind what to think of him; but now he smiled when he met her eye, and softened his voice in addressing her; and I was foolish enough to imagine the memory of her mother might disarm him from desiring her injury. Linton stood on the hearth. He had been out walking in the fields, for his cap was on, and he was calling to Joseph to bring him dry shoes. He had grown tall of his age, still wanting some months of sixteen. His features were pretty yet, and his eye and complexion brighter than I remembered them, though with merely temporary lustre borrowed from the salubrious air and genial sun.
`Now, who is that?' asked Mr Heathcliff, turning to Cathy. `Can you tell?'
`Your son?' she said, having doubtfully surveyed, first one and then the other.
`Yes, yes,' answered he: `but is this the only time you have beheld him? Think! Ah! you have a short memory. Linton, don't you recall your cousin, that you used to tease us so with wishing to see?'
`What, Linton!' cried Cathy, kindling into joyful surprise at the name. `Is that little Linton? He's taller than I am! Are you, Linton?'
The youth stepped forward, and acknowledged himself: she kissed him fervently, and they gazed with wonder at the change time had wrought in the appearance of each. Catherine had reached her full height; her figure was both plump and slender, elastic as steel, and her whole aspect sparkling with health and spirits. Linton's looks and movements were very languid, and his form extremely slight; but there was a grace in his manner that mitigated these defects, and rendered him not unpleasing. After exchanging numerous marks of fondness with him, his cousin went to Mr Heathcliff, who lingered by the door, dividing his attention between the objects inside and those that lay without: pretending, that is, to observe the latter, and really noting the former alone.
`And you are my uncle, then!' she cried, reaching up to salute him. `I thought I liked you, though you were cross at first. Why don't you visit at the Grange with Linton? To live all these years such close neighbours, and never see us, is odd: what have you done so for?'
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