The Tell-Tale Heart, Part 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

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Suspect
As I say, I saw the eye with perfect distinctness—all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones.
Me
  You say you could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person, for you had directed the ray as if by instinct, on the eye.
Suspect
Yes, and  precisely upon the damned spot! And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses?
Me
Have you not noticed that I do not disbelieve you! You were ill, after all. But continue with your account, please!
Suspect
Now 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 old man’s heart.
Me
How did that sound make you feel?
Suspect
It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.
Me
 But even yet you refrained and kept still, is that correct?
Suspect
I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased.
Me
True, very, very dreadfully true! And the world calls you mad!
Suspect
Hah! It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment!—do you mark me well?
Me
You have told me that you were nervous, and are.
Suspect
So I am. 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. 
Me
Yet, for some minutes longer you refrained and stood still, eh? 
Suspect
I did so, but the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me—the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man’s hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. 
Me
He shrieked once—once only, is that right.
Suspect
Yes! In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. 
Me
Then you heard his still-beating heart, yet you did not relent?  That establishes your wish to kill him.
Suspect
At length the sound ceased. 
Me
The old man was dead.
Suspect
Indeed! I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.
Me
That is one mercy for you, at least. But the police shall trouble you and vex you to the end of your days.
Suspect
If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I detail the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. 
Me
Don’t trouble to.  No, please don’t!
Suspect
First of all I dismembered the corpse. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence…

………..

Look for the ending, Part 4, coming soon!