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When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little - a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it - you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily - until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell upon the vulture eye.
And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? - Now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It grew quicker and quicker, louder and louder every instant.
And now anxiety seized me - the sound would be heard by a neighbor! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once - once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound.
If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took of the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. Then I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye - not even his - could have detected anything wrong.
As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, - for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. a shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.
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