Montresor responds that his family shield portrays “a huge human foot d’or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel.” The motto, in Latin, is “nemo me impune lacessit,” that is, “no one attacks me with impunity.” Later in their journey, Fortunato makes a hand movement that is a secret sign of the Masons, an exclusive fraternal organization.
He wants to exact this revenge, however, in a measured way, without placing himself at risk.
He decides to use Fortunato’s fondness for wine against him.
Fortunato (Italian for “fortunate”) wears the multicolored costume of the jester, including a cone cap with bells.
Montresor tells Fortunato that if he is too busy, he will ask a man named Luchesi to taste it.
As the layers continue to rise, though, Fortunato falls silent.
Just as Montresor is about to finish, Fortunato laughs as if Montresor is playing a joke on him, but Montresor is not joking.Fortunato screams confusedly as Montresor builds the first layer of the wall.The alcohol soon wears off and Fortunato moans, terrified and helpless.On the exposed wall is a small recess, where Montresor tells Fortunato that the Amontillado is being stored.Fortunato, now heavily intoxicated, goes to the back of the recess.The men continue to explore the deep vaults, which are full of the dead bodies of the Montresor family.In response to the crypts, Fortunato claims to have forgotten Montresor’s family coat of arms and motto.There are two things that allow Montresor’s plan to succeed: (1) Fortunato is extremely drunk; (2) Montresor is a master of reverse psychology and irony.Numerous times, he cautions Fortunato about his cough and declares his wish to go to Luchesi–whom we know little of other than Fortunato thinks he’s an “ignoramus.” This mention of Fortunato’s rival makes him all the more eager to prove Montresor’s imbecility in buying Amontillado from a huckster.The two proceed down the ancient corridor when, suddenly, Montresor chains Fortunato to a wall, where he has remained ever since.The narrator, Montresor, opens the story by stating that he has been irreparably insulted by his acquaintance, Fortunato, and that he seeks revenge.