(The Flip Side of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado)
“Amontillado!” I said. The fool, he thought I believed him. The headpiece I wore in celebration of the festival jangled its small bells and I shook my head.
“I have my doubts,” said Montresor. Of course he did. He should!
“Amontillado!” I said once again, or more than once. I scarce remember exact events as my wits were lessened due to the festival proclivities.
Then the fool Montresor began rambling on about Luchesi! What madness! Luchesi was an oaf.
“Come let us go,” said I.
“Whither?” said he.
“To your vaults.” I laughed to myself as I said it. This would be great sport.
He tried to persuade me otherwise, but I would have none of it. And soon we were at his miserable hovel (he suggested his servants were out, but I doubted he even had them in employ.)
I was still feeling the effects of the festival spirits, yet kept up with him down into the abyss of his vaults. Would we never get to this supposed Amontillado? I was having my doubts he had any at all. It was perhaps some old cache of Merlot, or worse, Cabernet.
He kept babbling about my health, but I would not hear of it. He would not deter me from showing him my superiority as usual in all matters wine.
Along the way he stopped to have a mediocre bit of Medoc, and babble about his family arms. A human foot on a snake indeed. He would be under my foot as usual, as my talents would show soon enough.
After a last swig of Medoc, I gestured as one of the brotherhood. Of course, he did not comprehend my actions.
“You are not of the Masons?” I suggested. Then he produced a simple trowel and said that it showed he was a mason. What a buffoon!
We proceeded on.
Finally among the bones of his pitiable ancestors he directed me to small enclave in which the Amontillado was stored. He mentioned Luchesi again and I would have no more. I entered the room.
When I came to the end of the room, of which there was of course no pipe of Amontillado, I stood mystified. What was this fool doing now? What point was this?
Perhaps the inebriation masked my reactions, but before I knew it the fool Montresor has clasped chains around my waist and padlocked me there. Why? For what reason?
“The Amontillado!” I shouted. Where was it? And why must I be chained to taste it? Did he not trust me to try it, even though he must know I would laugh in his face?
He began to use his trowel to seal the small room with brick and mortar. What madness! I laughed heartily. Perhaps this was his attempt at humor. I would play along.
“A very good joke indeed – an excellent joke! We will have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo!”
It was a lie, he probably knew I would not share wine with him especially after this event.
It became apparent as he began sealing up the room that my initial suspicions of him were too soft. He was indeed mad! He was quite insane! The poor wretch had lost control of his faculties and truly meant to do me ill.
“For the love of God, Montresor!” I shouted.
“Yes,” he said in a tone most chilling. “For the love of God.”
As the darkness of the room increased, all save one small rock to be inserted by the “mason”, the fool Montresor, I dipped my head in thought. The bells of the headpiece jingled.
He called my name. I did not respond. He tossed in his sconce. It went out quickly. He called again.
The fool placed the last stone and I began to formulate my revenge. I sniffed and coughed internally. The nitre in the enclave was quite strong. No matter. I would escape from this child’s trap.
I coughed again, and felt my head getting lighter. Yes. The fool Montresor would…regret his…actions…
…he…would regret…his actions…the fool.