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
And now a new anxiety seized me—the sound would be heard by a neighbor! 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...At length it ceased. The old man was dead.
I took for the concealment of the body...I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings.
I smiled,—for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream.
A shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night
suspicion of foul play had been aroused
“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed!— tear up the planks!—here, here!—it is the beating of his hideous heart!”