Why would YOU say that I am mad? I AM NOT MAD! The disease had sharpened my senses—not destroyed—not dulled them.
His eye haunted me day and night. He had the eye of a vulture—a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold. His eye is the reason why I must take his life away.
When I was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously—oh, so cautiously—I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights.
The heart beat on with a mufﬂed sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead.
A shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night: suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police ofﬁce, and they had been deputed to search the premises. I smiled,—for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome.
The ringing became more distinct, but still they sat and still chatted. It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears. No doubt I now grew very pale, but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased. I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
Villains! Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! here, here! It is the beating of his hideous heart!"