The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart

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  • Why do you say that I am mad? Listen! Listen, and I will tell you how it happened.
  • I did not hate the old man. His eye was like the eye of a vulture... hard blue eye.
  • Every night [for seven long nights] about twelve o'clock I slowly opened his door. Always the eye was closed, so it was impossible for me to do the work. I finally decided I had to kill the old man and close that eye forever.
  • The eighth night I was more than usually careful as I opened the door. He felt me there. Now he knew that Death was standing there. I lifted the cloth, until a small, small light escaped from under it to fall upon--to fall upon that vulture eye! It was open--wide, wide open, and my anger increased as it looked straight at me.
  • Die! Die!
  • First I cut off the head, then the arms and the legs. I was careful not to let a single drop of blood fall on the floor. I pulled up three of the boards that formed the floor, and put the pieces of the body there. Then I put the boards down again, carefully, so carefully that no human eye could see that they had been moved.
  • Yes! Yes, I killed him. Pull up the boards and you shall see! I killed him. But why does his heart not stop beating?! Why does it stop!?
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