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I removed the bed and examined the corpse. I knew the sound well. I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. His room was as black

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as pitch

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with the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened through fear of robbers), and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily. It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber,

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and deposited all between the scantlings. The old man's terror must have been extreme! He was stone dead.

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" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage. I placed

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my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. -- they suspected! And

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now at the dead hour of the night, amid the

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dreadful silence of that медовая диета old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated медовая диета it upon the boards, but the noise arose

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over all

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and continually increased.

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One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture -- a pale blue eye

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with a film over it. And every night about midnight I turned the latch of his door and opened it oh, медовая диета so gently! now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. They heard! 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? 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

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thus rid myself of the eye for

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ever. The old man was dead. Now this is the point. To think that there I was opening

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the door little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I was singularly at ease. The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not

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dulled them. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. Above all was the sense of hearing

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acute. and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story. Passion there was none. ------------------------------------------------------------- TRUE! It was open, wide, wide open, and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I had been too wary for that. -- here, here! And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. I heard all things

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in the heaven and in the earth. " Yes he has been trying to comfort himself with

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these suppositions ; but he had found all in vain. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him

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to feel, although he neither saw nor heard, to feel

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the presence of my head within the room. It was the beating of the old man's heart. There was no pulsation. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers, of my sagacity. Yet the sound increased -- and what could I do? No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled. I thought the heart must burst. At length it ceased. I felt that I must scream or die! There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. -- and now -- again -- hark! And now a new anxiety seized me -- the

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sound would be heard by a neighbour! I went down to open

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it with a light heart, -- for what had I now to fear? -- they were making a mockery of my horror! I moved it slowly, very, медовая диета very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking медовая диета at the street медовая диета door. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but

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the noise steadily

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increased. And then,

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when I had made an opening sufficient for

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my head, I put in a dark lantern all closed,

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closed so that

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no light медовая диета shone out, and then I thrust in my head. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. With a loud yell, I threw

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open the lantern and leaped into the room. Anything was more tolerable than this derision! For his gold I had no desire. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded -- with what caution -- with what foresight,

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with what dissimulation, I went to work! And

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this I did for seven long 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. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while

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I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim. His eye would trouble me no more.

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Almighty God!

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I admit the deed! ALL IN VAIN, because Death in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him and enveloped the victim. But anything was better than this agony! His fears had been ever since growing upon him. Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. -- do you mark me well? -- "Villains! медовая диета I then smiled медовая диета gaily, to find the deed so far done. -- this I thought, and this I think. I fairly chuckled at the idea,

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and perhaps he heard me, for he moved on the bed suddenly as if startled. I then replaced the boards so cleverly so cunningly, that no human eye -- not even his -- could have detected anything wrong. I could медовая диета scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. медовая диета I took my visitors all over the house. The old man's hour had come! He had never

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given медовая диета me insult. I bade them search -- search

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well. I scarcely breathed. I saw it with perfect distinctness -- all a dull blue with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones, but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person, for

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I had directed the ray as if by instinct

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precisely upon the damned spot. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. I bade the gentlemen welcome. I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased. Now you may think that I drew back -- but no. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him although I chuckled at heart. But for медовая диета many minutes the heart beat on with a muffled sound. He shrieked once -- once only.

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Why WOULD they not be gone? He had медовая диета been saying to himself, "It is nothing but the wind in the chimney, it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or, "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp. The officers were satisfied. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. I led them, at length, to his chamber. This, however, did not vex

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me; it would not be heard through the

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wall. My MANNER had convinced them. Madmen know nothing. When I had made an end of these labours, it was four o'clock -- still dark as midnight. I gasped for breath, and yet медовая диета the officers heard it not. It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant. I smiled, -- for what had I to fear? I loved the old man.

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It was not a groan of pain or of grief -- oh, no! Yes, it was this! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And then when my head was well in the room I undid the lantern cautiously

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-- oh, so cautiously -- cautiously (for the hinges creaked), I undid it just so much that a single thin ray медовая диета fell upon

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the vulture eye. For a whole hour I did медовая диета not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. I knew that he had been

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lying медовая диета awake ever since the first slight noise when he had turned in the bed. what COULD I do? " I kept

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quite still and said nothing. nervous, very, very dreadfully медовая диета nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed , to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept. If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the медовая диета wise precautions I took for the concealment медовая диета of the body. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the

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police office,

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and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises. But the beating grew louder, louder! -- it is the beating of his hideous heart! would a madman have been so wise as this? Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I heard many things in hell.

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There was nothing to wash out -- no stain of any kind -- no blood-spot whatever. But, ere long,

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I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. 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. Was it possible they heard not? I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. -- no, no? How then am I mad? So I opened it -- you cannot

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imagine how stealthily, stealthily -- until at length a single

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dim ray like the thread of the spider shot out from the crevice and fell upon

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the vulture eye. He was still sitting up in the bed, listening; just as I have done night after night hearkening to the death watches in the wall. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! -- they KNEW! The ringing became more distinct : I talked more freely медовая диета to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness -- until, at length, медовая диета