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Montresor then declares that, since Fortunato won't go back, Montresor must "positively leave" him there.Montresor reveals brick and mortar, previously hidden among the bones nearby, and proceeds to wall up the niche using his trowel, entombing his friend alive.
Before placing the last stone, he drops a burning torch through the gap. Although the subject matter of Poe's story is a murder, "The Cask of Amontillado" is not a tale of detection like "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" or "The Purloined Letter"; there is no investigation of Montresor's crime and the criminal himself explains how he committed the murder.
He claims that he feels sick at heart, but dismisses this reaction as an effect of the dampness of the catacombs. The mystery in "The Cask of Amontillado" is in Montresor's motive for murder.
When Montresor appears not to recognize the gesture, Fortunato asks, "You are not of the masons?
" Montresor says he is, and when Fortunato, disbelieving, requests a sign, Montresor displays a trowel he had been hiding.
Fortunato laughs weakly and tries to pretend that he is the subject of a joke and that people will be waiting for him (including the Lady Fortunato).
As Montresor finishes the topmost row of stones, Fortunato wails, "For the love of God, Montresor!" to which Montresor replies, "Yes, for the love of God!" He listens for a reply but hears only the jester's bells ringing.At first, Fortunato, who sobers up faster than Montresor anticipated, shakes the chains, trying to escape.Fortunato then screams for help, but Montresor mocks his cries, knowing nobody can hear them.After Fortunato is chained to the wall and nearly entombed alive, Montresor merely mocks and mimics him, rather than disclosing to Fortunato the reasons behind his exacting revenge.Montresor may not have been entirely certain of the exact nature of the insults for which he expected Fortunato to atone. His house had once been noble and respected, but has fallen slightly in status.Like several of Poe's stories, and in keeping with the 19th-century fascination with the subject, the narrative revolves around a person being buried alive – in this case, by immurement.As in "The Black Cat" and "The Tell-Tale Heart", Poe conveys the story from the murderer's perspective.Montresor offers wine (first Médoc, then De Grave) to Fortunato in order to keep him inebriated.Montresor warns Fortunato, who has a bad cough, of the dampness, and suggests they go back, but Fortunato insists on continuing, claiming that he "shall not die of a cough".