The Tell Tale Heart

The Tell Tale Heart
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  • 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 so 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.
  • You should have seen how wisely I proceeded—with what caution—with what foresight—with what dissimulation I went to work! 
  • "AHHH!"
  • "Who's There?!?"
  • 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.
  • And then when my head was well in the room I undid the lantern cautiously— oh, so cautiously— cautiously (for the hinges creaked)—I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights—every night just at midnight—but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye.
  • I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily. 
  • BOO
  • I smiled,—for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone.
  • the old man sprang up in the bed, crying out—"Who's there?" 
  •  I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more. 
  •  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.
  • No doubt I now grew very pale;—but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased—and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound —much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath—and yet the officers heard it not.
  • YOUR GOING DOWNTOWN!
  • “Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed!— tear up the planks!—here, here!—it is the beating of his hideous heart!”
  • That is how I Proclaim My Inoccence
  • I then 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. There was nothing to wash out—no stain of any kind—no blood-spot whatever.
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