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The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1843. An unnamed narrator confesses that he has murdered an old man, apparently because of the old man’s ‘Evil Eye’ which drove the narrator to kill him. He then describes how he crept into the old man’s bedroom while he slept and stabbed him, dragging the corpse away and dismembering it, so as to conceal his crime. He goes to some lengths to cover up all trace of the murder and then he takes up three of the floorboards of the chamber and conceals his victim’s body underneath. But no sooner has he concealed the body than there’s a knock at the door: it’s the police, having been called out by a neighbour who heard a shriek during the night. The narrator lets the police officers in to search the premises and tells them a lie about the old man being away in the country. He keeps his calm while showing them around until they go and sit down in the room below which the victim’s body is concealed. The narrator and the police officers talk, but gradually the narrator begins to hear a ringing in his ears, a noise that becomes louder and more insistent. He believes that it is the beating of the dead man’s heart, taunting him from beyond the grave. Eventually, he can’t stand it any more and tells the police to tear up the floorboards, the sound of the old man’s beating heart driving him to confess his crime. Enjoy free online English audiobook “The Tell-Tale Heart”, a novel by Edgar Allan Poe.

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