I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. 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.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night.
Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees—very gradually—I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
I undid the lantern 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—every night just at midnight—but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work.
On the eighth night, I was about to open the lantern when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening
The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room.
He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.
I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done.
“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed!—tear up the planks! here, here!—It is the beating of his hideous heart!”