You see, I am not mad. It was the old man's eye, that was it. It had a pale blue veil over it, a vultures eye. It pained me when I say it. That was why I did it.
"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, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head."
Finally, on the eighth night, I opened the door, but it creaked. The old man, I knew, had heard me come. After an hour or so, I laid a light on his eye, just the evil eye. It was open completely. Finally, I would kill him.
It was just a mouse, or a branch on a tree, no one is there!
I did the deed, and once done, I hid the old man under the floor boards. There was no trace of blood, and I was so pleased with myself.
"I smiled, --for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search --search well.
Villains! dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!