Lockwood returns to the story, complaining about his continued illness. He can't wait to hear what happened to Heathcliff and is full of speculation.
Nelly informs him: "I stated before that I didn't know how he gained his money; neither am I aware of the means he took to raise his mind from the savage ignorance into which it was sunk" (10.9).
For about six months, everything at Thrushcross Grange is going well: Catherine clearly loves Edgar, Edgar avoids upsetting her, and Isabella and Catherine get along.
Then Heathcliff returns. Edgar reluctantly allows him into the parlor, suggesting that the kitchen is more suitable for his kind. But nothing can suppress Catherine's giddy enthusiasm.
Heathcliff has changed dramatically in three years. Nelly describes his "transformation" into a "tall, athletic, well-formed man […with] upright carriage" and look of intelligence with "no marks of former degradation" (10.53). To put it bluntly, his makeover has been extreme. Everyone is surprised.
Heathcliff admits that he has returned, in part, to settle his score with Hindley. Still, he plans to return to Wuthering Heights. Nelly has a bad feeling.
Catherine confides in Nelly that Heathcliff has already been up to Wuthering Heights, playing cards and gambling with Hindley. A desperate drunkard, Hindley allows Heathcliff to stay so he can collect rent and gamble. He has no clue about Heathcliff's plan for revenge – he's too pickled.
Heathcliff starts coming around to Thrushcross Grange and, as if Edgar doesn't have enough reasons not to like him, his sister Isabella develops a major crush.
Catherine mocks Isabella for loving Heathcliff, warning her that Heathcliff is "an unreclaimed creature, without refinement, without cultivation [. . .]" (10.98) who would marry her just to claim the Linton fortune.
Heathcliff shows up, and Catherine seizes the chance to humiliate Isabella. Hearing of her crush, Heathcliff describes the pleasure he would take in decorating her face with bruises. But the fact that she is her brother's heir is alluring to him.