It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed.
A shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night.
The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream.
In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him.
No doubt I now grew very pale;... 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! —they were making a mockery of my horror!
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.
Suspicion of foul play had been aroused.
Villains!...dissemble no more! I admit the deed!— tear up the planks!—here, here!—it is the beating of his hideous heart!