illustration of Fortunato standing in motley behind a mostly completed brick wall with a skull superimposed on the wall where his face should be

The Cask of Amontillado

by Edgar Allan Poe

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At what point does Montresor start to build a wall?

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In Poe's "Cask of Amontillado", Montresor waits until he has completely has Fortunato "fettered" (chained) to the wall before he begins building the wall.  After he has tricked Fortunato deep into the catacombs, he taunts him a bit and then "busies" himself at a pile of bones under which he had hidden the mortar and the bricks.  He then begins to lay the bricks row by row.

It should be noted that Fortunato's intoxication on which the narrator had depended on so readily to trick him into the catacombs seems to completely dissipate as soon as Montresor lays the first tier.

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