THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO: FORTUNATO’S POINT OF VIEW
I opened my eyes. They felt heavy and my head throbbed. I was covered with beads of sweat. I stood up and the world seemed to turn. I was dizzy. I looked around and saw the unfamiliar view. Where am I? People with colorful costumes and masks were surrounding me. There were parade floats everywhere. Then, puzzle pieces began to form in my head. I was in the carnival. I was holding a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino and I drank it all up. The wine seemed to sting my throat. I have been drinking a lot lately. But nevertheless, I loved wine. I love to drink. I wouldn’t care if I die of intoxication. I walked around and the bells of my jester’s motley were clanging. I looked around and I saw familiar faces. At my near left, I saw a group of women. Three days ago, I caught one of them cheating their husbands. With no delay, I told everyone about her secret. The other woman in the group was a thief. The other was I liar. I realized they were staring at me with a look of anger and disgust in their faces. I just rolled my eyes and walked away. Yes, I have insulted a lot of people already, I wouldn’t care who I offend, as long as but the truth will be revealed. I am powerful, influential, and I have the right to say what I want. I continued to wander and my legs were moving like jelly. My vision became distorted. I took a bottle of Pimonte and drank like it was water. I abruptly came to a stop when I saw my friend Montresor. He was delighted when he saw me. He approached me and said: "My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking today! But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts." "How?" I said. "Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!" "I have my doubts," He replied; "and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain." "Amontillado!" "I have my doubts." "Amontillado!" "And I must satisfy them." "Amontillado!" "As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchesi. If anyone has a critical turn, it is he. He will tell me-- " "Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry." I cut his statement. I am better than Luchesi. He is still a neophyte. I told him I will do the task. Montresor agreed and we proceeded. I felt relieved that I would be the one to check the Amontillado. I am sure that Luchesi cannot do the task. I am better than him, much better than him. I took unsteady steps. Then, Montressor helped me. He half carried, half dragged me to his palazzo. I didn’t mind where we were going, my vision was blurry and I was unsteady. We left the palazzo and we went to some place unfamiliar. All I that I am aware of is the bells jingling on my cap. I didn’t even realize that we have already arrived our destination. "The pipe," I said. "It is farther on," He said; "but observe the white web work which gleams from these cavern walls." I was dizzy, but I was able to look him in the eye. "Nitre?" I asked. "Nitre," He replied. "How long have you had that cough?" "Ugh! ugh! ugh!--ugh! ugh! ugh!--ugh! ugh! ugh!--ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh! ugh!" My body shook as I coughed. "It is nothing," I said at last. "Come," Montresor said, with decision, "we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is Luchesi--" "Enough," I said: "the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough." He replied, "True—true. And indeed, I had no intention of alarming you unnecessarily--but you should use all proper caution. A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps. Drink," He presented me the wine. I was delighted with this and I drank the precious wine. I took his arm as we proceeded....
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