Wuthering Heights Chapter 34
For days Heathcliff stayed away, and did not eat meals with the family. At night, he went outside, but Nelly did not know what he did. It was warm April weather, and Cathy and Nelly sat outside while Hareton planted Cathy's garden. Cathy came back from the house, and told them she had just seen an excited, even wild-looking Heathcliff. He had been out walking all night, and Nelly decided to go inside and check on him. At dinner he refused his food, choosing instead to go outside. Hareton went to see what was the matter, but there seemed to be nothing, and Heathcliff looked happy, for a change. He returned later, pale and with a strange smile on his lips, trembling with excitement. He again refused food, and asked Nelly to keep everyone away from him. When Nelly asks what was the matter, he answers: "Last night, I was on the threshold of hell. To-day, I am within sight of my heaven. I have my eyes on it: hardly three feet to sever me!" Chapter 34, pg. 300
That evening Nelly thought she should check on him and bring him his supper. He was leaning on the open window, staring outside. When Nelly moved to close the windows, she saw Heathcliff's frightful face. Terrified, she ran for Joseph, and made him attend the master. Nelly gave in to wild fears that Heathcliff was some kind of ghost or monster.
The next morning Heathcliff seemed better, but still in a strange agitated state. He refused to eat, and scared Nelly with his fixation on an unseen object or person. Nelly left him alone, and again he did not eat, and he went walking late at night. Nelly heard him come home, speaking Catherine's name as though she was present. He soon came into the kitchen, asking Nelly to start him a fire. He asked her to send for a lawyer tomorrow, so he could make out his will. He believed himself close to death, and he regretted that nothing had been done. Nelly suggested he turn to God, but Heathcliff's only concern was that he be buried by his Catherine.
The next day, Heathcliff retreated to his room, and did not come out all night, though his moaning could be heard throughout the house. Nelly sent for the doctor, but Heathcliff would not let anyone in to see him.
The next evening, Nelly noticed that Heathcliff's window was open. It was raining, and Nelly went inside to close it. Heathcliff was lying on his back, and he met Nelly with a terrible smile! His eyes were wide and vivid, but he was dead; a terrified Nelly called for Joseph. But it was only the slighted Hareton who really mourned for Heathcliff.
The doctor could not explain what he died of. They buried Heathcliff as he wished, but many of the townspeople do not believe he rests below ground. Many believe they have seen his ghost, and a woman's too. Nelly even came upon a shepherd boy who claimed that Heathcliff and a woman had blocked his way on the moors. Nelly tells Mr. Lockwood that Hareton and Cathy will be moving to the Grange, after their New Year's marriage. Only Joseph will remain at Wuthering Heights. Mr. Lockwood asks if this will leave more room for the ghosts, but Nelly tells him she does not believe in ghosts. At that moment, Cathy and Hareton return, and a jealous Mr. Lockwood grumbles that lovers are not afraid of anything. Desiring to avoid them, Mr. Lockwood says good-by to Nelly and runs out. On his way to the Grange, Mr. Lockwood stops by the graveyard. The chapel is in disrepair, and between it and the moor lie the three headstones: Catherine's, Edgar's, and Heathcliff's. They are each in different stages of being covered up by the moor. With the wind blowing through the grass, and the sky calm, Mr. Lockwood wonders how anyone could not be at peace in the earth.