" I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture- a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold: and so by degrees-- I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever."
And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it --oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly --very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep.
Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh, no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me.
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. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall.
When I had made an endof these labors, it was four o'clock --still dark as midnight. As the bellsounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to openit 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
It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew!