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When I had had waited a very long time, patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it, at length a single dim ray, shot out from the crevice and fell upon the vulture eye.
Now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the heart of the old man's heart.
The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! I thought the heart must burst.
The old man's hour had come! 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. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound.
I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.
I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, that no human eye-- not even his-- could have detected anything wrong!
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