On the fifth day, Zillah the housekeeper frees Nelly from the bedroom and tells her that the village is awash in gossip that Nelly and Cathy have been lost in the marshes. Nelly searches the house for Cathy, but instead finds Linton. He tells her that Cathy has been locked up in another room, and that he and Cathy are married. Then he exults that he owns all of Cathy's inheritance, since Edgar is close to death.
Heathcliff's revenge appears to be complete. And the formerly pathetic Linton shows his less pleasant side as well.
Nelly rushes from Wuthering Heights back to Thrushcross Grange. She tells the dying Edgar that Cathy is safe and will soon be back at the Grange. She then sends a group of servants to Wuthering Heights to get Cathy, but they fail and return without her. Meanwhile, in order to keep Cathy's inheritance from Heathcliff, Edgar decides to place the inheritance in the hands of trustees. He sends for his lawyer, Mr. Green, so he can change his will.
Edgar tries to use the bedrock of civil society, the law, to try to thwart Heathcliff's efforts.
A while later, Nelly hears someone arrive. She thinks that it's Mr. Green, but it's actually Cathy who has escaped Wuthering Heights with the help of Linton. Cathy goes to Edgar and spends a few moments with him before he dies. Edgar dies content, believing that Cathy is happily married to Linton.
Linton's decision to help Cathy shows that he does love Cathy, in his way. Note that Edgar dies before changing his will, meaning that Heathcliff has gotten what he wanted.
Mr. Green arrives that evening. He takes over the house, and dismisses all of the servants but Nelly. He also tries to have Edgar buried in the chapel, but Nelly intervenes, knowing that Edgar's states that he wanted to be buried next to his wife.
In the end, Edgar's love for Catherine is stronger than his ties to his class or family. What he wants most of all is just to be near her.