Initially, Montresor comments that in order to successfully carry out revenge one must "not only punish but punish with impunity." He begins by maintaining an affable relationship with Fortunato by continually smiling during their conversations, which allows him to hide his true malevolent feelings. Montresor puts his plan into action after running into a rather intoxicated Fortunato during the "supreme madness of the carnival season." Knowing that Fortunato considers himself to be a connoisseur of wine and is an arrogant man, Montresor cleverly baits Fortunato by telling him that he has a pipe of Amontillado and that he plans on asking Luchresi to verify its authenticity. Montresor knows that Fortunato will criticize Luchresi and volunteer to taste the wine. Montresor then takes Fortunato to his empty palazzo, where there are no servants or attendants. Montresor explains to his audience that he had specifically told his servants that he would not be home later, knowing that they would abscond from their duties.
Once Fortunato arrives at Montresor's home, Montresor leads him through the depths of his underground catacombs. Several times Montresor offers Fortunato wine along their journey to further intoxicate him while he insincerely encourages Fortunato to turn back. Montresor knows that Fortunato's pride will motivate him to continue traveling deeper until they reach the Amontillado. When Fortunato reaches the end of the vault, Montresor quickly shackles his arms and begins building a wall behind Fortunato. Brick by brick, Montresor buries Fortunato alive in the depths of his family's catacombs, where no one will hear or discover him. Montresor then refuses to reveal his secret for fifty years.