Harken! if ye dare, as I tell a tale of madness--and of death. Yet, be this madness truly mine, as some now say, or does it really reside elsewhere?--hidden from sight, but naught from the knowing mind. Hear me sad tale then, if ye will, and decide for yerself.
It be impossible to say how the idea first entered me fevered brain; but once conceived, it haunted me thoughts day and night. Know ye that I had no personal object in mind--for I had loved that old man. Naught a single insult nor any wrong ever came from him directed toward meself; nor did his gold sway me, for I hold no desire for material riches.
Why then? you ask--what hellish reason could have spawned such a heinous decision? Truth to tell, I think in all honesty it were his eye!--yea, it were this and naught else. For he had the eye of a hungry vulture--a pale blue eye it were, with a hazy film obscuring the black pupil. Whenever that blind eye chanced to fall upon me, then me blood would verily run cold; for sightless as the orb may have been to ordinary vision, it seemed to drain me very soul each time that blank gaze beheld me. And so, by degrees--very gradual it were, in fact--I made up me mind to take the life of that old man, to thus rid meself of such an evil eye, forever!
Now, hear me out, for this be the point of it. Ye fancy me mad, but madmen know nothing! Ye should have seen 'me'--how cautious I were and how wisely I moved ahead with me plan. To dissuade any suspicions, I were never kinder to the old man during the whole week afore I killed him. Ha! He would thus suspect nothing, ye see, 'til the hammer would eventually fall, closing that blank, damned eye for the final time!
Every night, then, during that entire week, about midnight, I softly turned the latch of his door and opened it--oh, so gently. And then, when there be just enough room to slip me head through the opening, I first put in a dark lantern, all closed up ye see, closed up tight, so naught a crack of light would escape, and only then might I slowly put me head into the room. Oh, aye, ye would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly--very, very slowly--so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me near an hour to place me whole head within the opening far enough that I might see the old man as he rested upon his bed. Ha!--would a 'madman' have been so wise as this? And then, when me head were well within the room, only then did I cautiously undo the lantern--oh, so very cautiously--I undid it just so a single, thin ray of light might fall upon that 'vulture' eye.
And this I did for seven long nights--every night just at midnight--but I found the eye always closed; so I could not do the work required; for it were not the old man who vexed me so, but only his Evil Eye.
Upon the eighth night, I were even more cautious in opening the door. Never, before that night, had I felt the extent of me own powers--I could scarcely contain me feelings of triumph! To think that there I be, opening the door, little by little, and the old man naught even to dream of me secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea and perhaps the old man heard me; for he moved in bed, suddenly, as if startled. Now, ye may think that I drew back at this--but no! His room were black as pitch within the thick darkness and I knew that he could naught see the opening of the door, so I keep on pushing it, slowly and steadily, steadily.
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