It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain ; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night.
Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire.
I think it was his eye! yes it was this! He had the eye of a vulture- a pale blue eye, with a film over it .
I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.
Do you need help?
And then when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously- cautiously ( for the hinges creaked) - I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye.
Every night , about midnight, I turned the latch of his door,and opened it - oh so gently!
The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked - only once. In an instant I dragged him to the floor , and pulled the heavy bed over him.
Then I smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. But it did not vex me; it would not be heard through a wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead.
First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. I then took up three planks form the flooring, and deposited all between the scantlings.
As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart.
For what had I to fear?
I could not bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now -again!- hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but they still sat and chatted. Why would they not be gone ?
I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men- but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled.
Villains! Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! - tear up the planks! here, here! - It is the beating of his hideous heart!