Why does Montresor appear concerned about Fortunato's health in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Montresor has planned his actions against Fortunato carefully, and this includes the manner in which he treats his enemy as he leads him into the catacombs for a taste of the nonexistent bottle of Amontillado. He only pretends to be concerned about Fortunato's health so that Fortunato will not suspect Montresor's true intent. Montresor knows that Fortunato is intoxicated and that it might take the man some effort to follow him into the "recesses" of the wine cellar. When Fortunato coughs from the nitre built up on the walls, Montresor tries to convince him to turn back in order to preserve his health. But it is only a ruse: He knows Fortunato will follow him in the expectation of sampling the rare vintage, and that Fortunato will not "die of a cough." Montresor has other plans for him when they finally reach the spot he has chosen deep in the family catacombs.