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I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. And this I did for seven long

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nights, every night just at midnight, but I found the eye always closed, and so it was

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impossible to do the work, for it was not the old man who vexed me but his Evil Eye. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the

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terrors that distracted me. There was nothing

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to wash out -- no stain of any kind -- no blood-spot

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whatever. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded -- with what caution -- with what foresight, with what dissimulation, I went to work! A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had

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been aroused; information

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had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises. I knew what the old man felt, and

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pitied

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him although I chuckled at heart. ALL IN VAIN, because Death in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him and enveloped the victim. Never before that night had

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I felt the extent of my own powers, of my sagacity. At length it ceased. Was it possible they heard not? It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND -- MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A WATCH MAKES WHEN ENVELOPED IN COTTON. I bade them search -- search well. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. Almighty God! And then when my head was well in the room I undid the lantern cautiously -- oh, so cautiously -- cautiously диета по калориям (for the hinges creaked), I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. I knew the sound well. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. The old man's terror must have been extreme! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern all closed, closed so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. The night waned, and

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I worked hastily, but in silence. I led them, at length, to his chamber.

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I went down to open it with a light heart, -- for what had I now to fear? Passion there was none. Yet the sound increased -- and what could I do? And every

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morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber and spoke

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courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he had passed the night. -- here, here! I heard all things in the heaven and in the диета по калориям earth. I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening , and the old man sprang up in the bed, crying out, "Who's there? But you should have seen me. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel, although he neither saw nor heard, to feel the presence of my head within the room. But even yet I refrained and kept still. I thought the heart диета по калориям must burst. I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! Yes, it was this! For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. So I opened it -- you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily -- until at length a single dim ray like the thread of the spider shot out from the

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crevice and fell upon the vulture eye. -- and now -- again -- hark! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. To think that there I was opening the door little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. His fears диета по калориям had been ever since growing upon him. nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you

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say

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that I am mad? " I kept quite still and said

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nothing. I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise

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steadily increased. Now you may think that

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I drew back -- but no. I fairly chuckled at the idea, and perhaps he heard me, for he moved on the

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bed suddenly as if startled. And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? It was the beating of the old man's heart. I held the lantern motionless. Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan

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of mortal

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terror. It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed,

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not

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dulled them.

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I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many

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minutes. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. -- tear up the planks! Madmen know nothing. For his gold I had

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no desire. He had диета по калориям been saying to himself, "It is nothing but the wind in the chimney, it is only a mouse crossing the floor,"

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or, "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. I felt that I must

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scream or die! Above all was the sense of hearing acute. One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture -- a pale blue eye with

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a film over it. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. -- they were making a mockery of my horror! In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the

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heavy

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bed over him. Upon the eighth диета по калориям night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since диета по калориям the first slight noise when he had turned in the bed. Now this is the point. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. -- no, no? -- this I thought, and this I think. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. And every night about midnight I turned the latch of his door and opened it oh, so gently! I saw it with perfect distinctness -- all a dull blue with a hideous veil over it that chilled the

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very marrow in my bones, but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person, for I had directed the ray as if by instinct precisely upon the damned spot. How then am I mad? In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from диета по калориям their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect

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triumph, placed my own seat

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upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse

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of the victim. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. I was singularly at ease. " Yes he has been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions ; but he had found all in vain. The old man was dead.

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I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I could bear диета по калориям those hypocritical smiles no longer! I then replaced the

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boards so cleverly so cunningly, that no human eye -- not even his -- could have detected anything wrong. I loved the old man. диета по калориям He was still sitting up in the bed, listening; just as I have done night after night hearkening to the death watches in the

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wall. I heard many things in hell. now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, диета по калориям such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. But for many

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minutes the heart beat on with a muffled sound. My MANNER had convinced them. It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. Whenever it fell диета по калориям upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees,

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very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the

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eye for ever. -- do you mark me well? The ringing became more distinct : I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness -- until, at length, I found that the noise

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was NOT within my ears. ------------------------------------------------------------- TRUE! He had never given me insult. I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not. I smiled, -- for what had I to fear? You fancy me mad. I knew that sound well too. When I had waited a long time

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very patiently without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little -- a very, very little crevice

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in the lantern. I removed the bed

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and examined the corpse. It grew quicker

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and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant. what

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COULD I do? He was диета по калориям stone dead. With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and

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leaped into the room. The officers were satisfied. If still you think диета по калориям me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. Yet, for some minutes

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longer I refrained and stood still. I have told you

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that I am nervous: so I am. The old man's hour had come! " I shrieked, "dissemble no more! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story. -- it is the beating of his hideous heart! He shrieked once -- once only. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. But the beating grew louder,

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louder! It was open, wide, wide open, and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I swung the chair upon which

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I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all

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and диета по калориям continually increased. No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. There was no pulsation. When I had made an end of these labours, it was four o'clock -- still dark as midnight. I scarcely breathed. would a madman have been so wise as this? I admit the deed! His eye would trouble me no more. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. диета по калориям It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, диета по калориям once conceived, it haunted me day and night. And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled.

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It grew louder -- louder -- louder! I had

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been

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too wary for that. His room

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was as black диета по калориям as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters

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