"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Noah Harmon

"The Tell-Tale Heart"   by Noah Harmon
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By Noah Harmon

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  • True! -nervous- very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses -not destroyed- not dulled them... How then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily -how calmly- I can tell you the whole story.
  • It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain... I think it was his eye! ... He had the eye of a vulture -a pale blue eye, with a film over it... I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
  • The whole week before I killed him... every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it -oh so gently... and then I thrust in my head... I undid the lantern cautiously... I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye... but I found the eye always closed, and so it was impossible to do the work.
  • Upon the eighth night... It was open -wide, wide open- and I grew furious as I gazed upon it... all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones... 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.
  • When I had made an end of these labors... there came a knocking at the street door... There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police... A shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night... and they had been deputed to search the premises.
  • First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. Then I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings... there was... no blood spot whatsoever... A tub had caught all- ha! ha!
  • I led them, at length, to his chamber... I brought chairs in the room, and desired them here to rest... but the noise arose all over and continually increased... And still the men chatted pleasantly and smiled... I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer... "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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