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For a whole hour I did not move a muscle... During this hour, the old man did not lay down.
Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. While I waited for him to lay down I opened the lantern a bit more. As I opened it the light feel upon the vulture eye which was wide open!
He shrieked once. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. The old man was dead.
First of all I cut off the head, the arms, and the legs. I then took up three planks from the flooring and placed the body in it. I then replaced the boards so that no human eye could have seen any thing wrong.
There was a knocking at the door. I went down to open it and entered three men, police officers. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night and they had been deputed to search the premises.
The old man is out of town. But please, follow me upstairs.
As the police officer and I talked I developed a ringing in my ears. 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 paced the floor with heavy strides, but the noise increased. I foamed, I raved, I swore! I swung my chair and grated it upon the boards, but the noise grew louder and louder!
And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. They were making a mockery of my horror! Anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I couldn't bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die!
"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"
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