At his 75th birthday party, Montressor hears an eerie voice crying
"Amontillado!" When the others go in to dinner, he decides to remain
on the veranda a little while longer. This voice, which no one else can hear,
unnerves Montressor dreadfully and he has a heart attack. When Gina, his long
time maid, offers to call a doctor, he insists that she call a priest instead.
Montressor thinks he is about to die and, when the priest arrives, confesses to
murdering a man by the name of Fortunato who had insulted his good name many
years earlier. Montressor tells the story of how he murdered Fortunato.
It is carnival time and Montressor tells his servants that he will be away until
morning and that they are to remain at home. He is certain that with this news
they will all go to the carnival.
He disguises himself, goes to the carnival, and finds Fortunato dressed as a
jester. He tells Fortunato that he has purchased a cask of wine. The wine was
supposed to be Amontillado, but he is not certain and would like another
opinion. Fortunato, who fancies himself an expert on wine, insists that he be
taken to the cask in question to determine if it is indeed Amontillado.
Upon arriving at Montressor's home, they find that the servants have, indeed,
all gone to the carnival. He leads Fortunato to the catacombs where Montressor's
ancestors are buried. It is also the place where Montressor stores his wine. On
their way through the catacombs, they open more wine. By this time, the already
drunk Fortunato is completely intoxicated. Fortunato keeps asking about the
Amontillado. There is no Amontillado, of course; it has been a trick to lure
Fortunato into the catacombs for the fate Montressor has planned for him.
When they reach the small room where Montressor has hidden bricks and mortar, he
chains the intoxicated Fortunato to the wall and proceeds to wall up the
entrance to the room. Fortunato pleads to no avail, and Montressor finishes
sealing off the entrance to the small room, stacks old bones in front of his
handiwork and leaves Fortunato sealed alive in his tomb.
Montressor, dying, makes a final request: "Do not bury me in
catacombs, Gina. Do you understand?"