One of his eyes resembled that of avulture—a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever itfell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—verygradually—I made up my mind to take the life of the oldman and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
I was never kinder to the old man than during thewhole week before I killed him. And every night, aboutmidnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened ithead, I put in a dark lantern, all closed,closed, so that no light shone out,And this I did for seven long nights—every night justat midnight—but I found the eye always closed; and so itwas impossible to do the work; for it was not the old manwho vexed me, but his Evil Eye.
But the beatinggrew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. Andnow a new anxiety seized me—the sound would be heardby a neighbor! The old man’s hour had come! With a loudyell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room.
In an instant I dragged him tothe floor and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiledgaily to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes,the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, didnot vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. Atlength it ceased. The old man was dead.
I then took up three planks from the flooring of thechamber and deposited all between the scantlings.7 I thenreplaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that nohuman eye—not even his—could have detected anythingwrong.
“Villains!“dissemble no more! I admit thedeed!—tear up the planks!—here, here!—it is the beatingof his hideous heart!”