What does Fortunato's hand movement mean in "The Cask of Amontillado"?
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Fortunado makes a hand gesture that is a secret signal of the Brotherhood of Masons.
Montresor seems to think that Fortunado has wronged him, so he brings him deep into the catacombs. Fortunado makes a gesture at one point, while he is drunk, and then asks Montresor if he is one of the Masons.
He laughed and threw the bottle upwards with a gesticulation I did not understand.
Fortunado then asks for further proof. Since Montresor is pretending to be a Mason, he wants him to make a hand signal as well.
“You? Impossible! A mason?”
“A mason,” I replied.
“A sign,” he said, “a sign.”
Since Montresor does not know the sign, did not recognize it, and can’t make it, he brings out his trowel and said this is a sign. Fortunado thinks it is funny, a jest that is a play on the word “mason.” He is too drunk to wonder why his friend has a trowel in the first place. Of course, Montresor plans to use it to brick his friend up, burying him alive in the catacombs.
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