Elementary Novels

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

This is the story by the famous writer Edgar Allan Poe. It is this author who is considered to be the progenitor of such a popular genre in literature as horror fiction. Even Howard Lovecraft was inspired by his books. This story was published in the collection at the end of the nineteenth century. The main character’s name is Montezor. At the beginning of the story, he brags about how he got even with a mean nobleman, avenging for all bitter offences. He planned to commit a murder during the carnival: the people around would be drunk and cheerful, everyone would be dancing – no one would notice the real crime. Everyone would decide it as a part of the fun. He lured the foe into his mansion to show a collection of wines in the cellar. Further, Montezor thought up a particularly exquisite crime, which no one expected.

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The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

Fortunato and I both were members of very old and important Italian families. We used to play together when we were children. Fortunato was bigger, richer and more handsome than I was, and he enjoyed making me look like a fool. He hurt my feelings a thousand times during the years of my childhood. I never showed my anger, however, so he thought we were good friends. But I promised myself that one day I would punish Fortunato for his insults to me.

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

Many years passed. Fortunato married a rich and beautiful woman who gave him sons. Deep in my heart I hated him. But I never said or did anything that showed him how I really felt. When I smiled at him he thought it was because we were friends. He did not know it was the thoughts of his death that made me smile.

Everyone in our town respected Fortunato. Some men were afraid of him because he was so rich and powerful.

He had a weak spot, however. He thought he was an excellent judge of wine.

I also was an expert on wine. I spent a lot of money buying rare and costly wines. I stored the wines in the dark rooms under my family’s palace.

Our palace was one of the oldest buildings in the town. The Montresors family had lived in it for hundreds of years. We had burled our dead in the rooms under the palace. These tombs were quiet, dark places that no one but myself ever visited.

Late one evening, during carnival season I happened to meet Fortunato on the street. He was going home alone from a party. Fortunato was beautiful in his silk suit made of many colors – yellow, green, purple and red. On his head he wore an orange cap covered with little silver bells. I could see he had been drinking too much wine. He threw his arms around me. He said he was glad to see me. I said I was glad to see him too, because I had a little problem.

“What is it?” he asked putting his large hand on my shoulder.


“My dear Fortunato,” I said, “I’m afraid I have been very stupid. The man who sells me wine said he had a rare barrel of Amontillado wine. I believed him and I bought it from him. But now I’m not so sure that the wine is really Amontillado….

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