Heathcliff mounted the horse he had just "borrowed" in Gimmerton, a sturdy bay that could travel far without succumbing to fatigue. Heathcliff only hoped he could stay alert as well, for he would need to travel nearly 24 hours until reaching the nearest harbor. His plan was to sneak onto a ship bound for France. He didn't know what he would do when he got there, but the rent was cheap and he was resourceful.
He had a few days worth of food with him, all he could afford after trading his working boots. His bare feet hung limply over the sides of the horse, but he didn't mind. At least he didn't have to walk. He clucked the horse into a gallop and rode off across Britain's flatlands.
Cathy blinked, forgetting where she was. Spots were in front of her eyes, preventing her from seeing her surroundings clearly. When they finally cleared, she realized she was in her room in the top floor of Wuthering Heights. Usually Heathcliff snuck into her room every night, and she wondered why tonight had been different. Then it hit her. Heathcliff was gone. He had run away. Cathy sat up quickly with the intention to look for him, but she immediately started coughing. This fit continued for fifteen minutes, until her throat was burning. She tried to get up, but her head swam until she knew she would pass out if she didn't lay down again. She lowered her head back onto the pillow, and breathed slowly. The coughing fit soon started up again, and it became so loud and lasted so long that it brought her brother up from his moody stupor to see what the matter was.
"What the Devil are you doing, Cathy? You're making a racket!" Hindley growled as he entered her room. But when he got a good look at her, he stopped talking, his mouth hanging open. Cathy tried to sit up again and ask him what was wrong, but as soon as she tried, her head swam again. "Shhh Cathy, just go to sleep." Hindley soothed her and put the covers over her. She noticed his hand was shaking slightly, and wondered why for a moment. Suddenly, she forgot everything except how deliriously tired she was, and dropped off to sleep.
Hindley looked at his sisters sleeping form. She was as pale as a ghost, and sweating far more than usual. Her felt her head, and discovered she was hot to the touch. He remembered when his father died of a vicious fever, and left the room, shaking. He immediately wrote two telegrams, and sent them out with his servants.
"What's wrong, darling?" His pretty young wife asked him, seeing his stressed expression.
"Cathy is dangerously ill. I haven't seen anyone in that bad condition since…" His wife nodded, embracing him. "Doctor Kenneth should be on his way." Hindley mumbled into her shoulder.
Heathcliff slowed the horse to a walk. Sweat soaked the animal, even causing his mouth to foam a little. Heathcliff was drenched in sweat also, and he realized he hadn't slept all day. He just wanted to get to the harbor as fast as possible, for he feared he would lose his resolve and go back to Wuthering Heights because he missed Catherin e so much. He was especially on edge at this moment, because he couldn't help feeling that something was wrong back at home. He shook the feeling off, attributing it to simple paranoia. The horse whinned his discomfort, and Heathcliff felt like agreeing. He hadn't even stopped long enough to eat, and his eyelids were dropping from lack of sleep. Just as he was about to halt the horse and rest, he saw a shimmery blue color in the distance. He edged the horse to a gallop with renewed vigor, knowing he was one step closer to his goal of winning back Catherine when he reached that dock.