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E-Books (english-e-reader), The Cask of Amontillado

The Cask of Amontillado

Fortunato and I both were members of very old and important Italian families. We used to play together when we were children. Fortunato was bigger, richer and more handsome than I was, and he enjoyed making me look like a fool. He hurt my feelings a thousand times during the years of my childhood. I never showed my anger, however, so he thought we were good friends. But I promised myself that one day I would punish Fortunato for his insults to me.

Many years passed. Fortunato married a rich and beautiful woman who gave him sons. Deep in my heart I hated him. But I never said or did anything that showed him how I really felt. When I smiled at him he thought it was because we were friends. He did not know it was the thoughts of his death that made me smile.

Everyone in our town respected Fortunato. Some men were afraid of him because he was so rich and powerful.

He had a weak spot, however. He thought he was an excellent judge of wine.

I also was an expert on wine. I spent a lot of money buying rare and costly wines. I stored the wines in the dark rooms under my family's palace.

Our palace was one of the oldest buildings in the town. The Montresors family had lived in it for hundreds of years. We had burled our dead in the rooms under the palace. These tombs were quiet, dark places that no one but myself ever visited.

Late one evening, during carnival season I happened to meet Fortunato on the street. He was going home alone from a party. Fortunato was beautiful in his silk suit made of many colors - yellow, green, purple and red. On his head he wore an orange cap covered with little silver bells. I could see he had been drinking too much wine. He threw his arms around me. He said he was glad to see me. I said I was glad to see him too, because I had a little problem.

"What is it?" he asked putting his large hand on my shoulder.

"My dear Fortunato," I said, "I'm afraid I have been very stupid. The man who sells me wine said he had a rare barrel of Amontillado wine. I believed him and I bought it from him. But now I'm not so sure that the wine is really Amontillado.

"What?" he said. "A cask of Amontillado at this time of year? An entire barrel? Impossible!"

"Yes, I was very stupid. I paid the wineman the full price he wanted, without asking you to taste the wine first. But I couldn't find you, and I was afraid he would sell the cask of Amontlado to someone else. So, I bought It."

"A cask of Amontillado?" Fortunato repeated. "Where is it?"

I pretended I didn't hear his question. Instead I told him I was going to visit our friend Luchesi. "He will be able to tell me if the wine is really Amontillado," I said.

Fortunato laughed in my face, "Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from vinegar."

I smiled to myself and said, "But some people say that he is as good a Judge of wine as you are."

Fortunato grabbed my arm. "Take me to it, "he said. "I'll taste the Amontillado for you."

"But, my friend," I protested. "It is late. The wine is in my wine-cellar underneath the palace. Those rooms are very damp and cold. And the walls drip with water."

"I don't care," he said. "I am the only person who can tell you if your wineman has cheated you. Luchesi cannot."

Fortunato turned, and still holding me by the arm pulled me down the street to my home.

The building was empty - my servants were enjoying carnival. I knew they would be gone all night.

I took two large candles, lit them and gave one to Fortunato. I started down the dark, twisting stairway, with Fortunato close behind me. At the bottom of the stairs the damp air wrapped itself around our bodies.

"Where are we?" Fortunato asked. "I thought you said the cask of Amontillado was in your wine-cellar."

"It is," I said. "The wine-cellar is just beyond these tombs where the dead of my family are kept. Surely, you are not afraid of walking through the tombs."

He turned and looked into my eyes.

"Tombs?" he said. He began to cough, the silver bells on his cap jingled.

"My poor friend," I said, "how long have you had that cough?"

"That's nothing," he said. But he couldn't stop coughing.

"Come," I said firmly, "we will go back upstairs. Your health is important. You are rich, respected, admired and loved. You have a wife and children. Many people would miss you if you die. We will go back before you get seriously ill. I can go to Luchesi for help with the wine."

"No!" he cried. "This... hmm... cough is nothing. It will not kill me. I won't die... hmm... from a cough."

"That is true," I said. "But you must be careful."

He took my arm and we began to walk through the cold dark rooms. We went deeper and deeper into the cellar.

Finally, we arrived in a small room. Bones were pushed high against one wall. A doorway in another wall opened to an even smaller room about one meter wide and two meters high. Its walls were solid rock.

"Here we are," I said. "I hid the cask of Amontillado in there. I pointed to the smaller room."

Fortunato lifted his candle and stepped into the tiny room. I immediately followed him. He stood stupidly staring at two iron hand-cuffs chained to a wall of the tiny room. I grabbed his arms and locked them into the metal hand-cuffs. It took only a moment. He was too surprised to fight me. I stepped outside the small room.

"Where is the Amontillado?" he cried.

"Ah, yes," I said. "The cask of Amontillado."

I leaned over and began pushing aside the pile of bones against the wall. Under the bones was a basket of stone blocks, some cement and a small shovel. I had hidden the materials there earlier. I began to fill the doorway of the tiny room with stones and cement.

By the time I lay the first row of stones Fortunato was no longer drunk. I heard him moaning inside the tiny room for ten minutes. Then there was a long silence.

I finished the second and the third rows of stone blocks. As I began the fourth row, I heard Fortunato begin to shake the chains that held him to the wall. He was trying to pull them out of the granite wall.

I smiled to myself and stopped working so that I could better enjoy listening to the noise. After a few minutes he stopped.

I finished the fifth, the sixth and the seventh rows of stones. The wall I was building in the doorway was now almost up to my shoulders.

Suddenly, loud screams burst from the throat of the chained man. For a moment I worried. What if someone heard him? Then I placed my hand on the solid rock of the walls and felt safe. I looked into the tiny room, but he was still screaming. And I began to scream too. My screams grew louder than his and he stopped.

It was now almost midnight. I finished the eighth, the ninth and the tenth rows. All that was left was a stone for the last hole in the wall.

I was about to push it in when I heard a low laugh from behind the stones. The laugh made the hair on my head stand up. Then, Fortunato spoke in a sad voice that no longer sounded like him.

He said, "Well, you have played a good joke on me. We will laugh about it soon over a glass of that Amontillado. But isn't it getting late? My wife and my friends will be waiting for us. Let us go."

"Yes," I replied. "Let us go."

I waited for him to say something else. I heard only my own breathing.

"Fortunato," I called.

No answer.

I called again, "Fortunato!"

Still no answer.

I hurried to put the last stone into the wall and put the cement around it. Then I pushed the pile of bones in front of the new wall I had built...

That was fifty years ago. For half a century now no one has touched those bones. May he rest in peace.

- THE END -


The Cask of Amontillado アモンティリャードの樽

Fortunato and I both were members of very old and important Italian families. We used to play together when we were children. Fortunato was bigger, richer and more handsome than I was, and he enjoyed making me look like a fool. フォルトゥナートは私よりも大きく、豊かで、ハンサムで、彼は私をばかみたいに見せてくれました。 He hurt my feelings a thousand times during the years of my childhood. 彼は私の子供の頃、私の気持ちを何千回も傷つけました。 I never showed my anger, however, so he thought we were good friends. しかし、私は怒りを示さなかったので、彼は私たちが良い友達だと思った。 But I promised myself that one day I would punish Fortunato for his insults to me. しかし、私はいつの日かフォルトゥナートが私を侮辱したことで罰することを約束しました。

Many years passed. Fortunato married a rich and beautiful woman who gave him sons. Deep in my heart I hated him. 私は心の奥底で彼を憎んだ。 But I never said or did anything that showed him how I really felt. しかし、私は彼に私が実際にどのように感じたかを示すようなことは決して言いませんでした。 When I smiled at him he thought it was because we were friends. 私が彼に微笑んだとき、彼は私たちが友達だったからだと思った。 He did not know it was the thoughts of his death that made me smile. 彼は私を笑顔にしたのは彼の死の考えだとは知りませんでした。

Everyone in our town respected Fortunato. Some men were afraid of him because he was so rich and powerful. 彼はとても裕福で力強いので、何人かの男性は彼を恐れていました。

He had a weak spot, however. しかし、彼には弱点がありました。 He thought he was an excellent judge of wine. 彼は自分がワインの優れた裁判官だと思った。

I also was an expert on wine. 私もワインの専門家でした。 I spent a lot of money buying rare and costly wines. 私は珍しくて高価なワインを買うのにたくさんのお金を費やしました。 I stored the wines in the dark rooms under my family's palace.

Our palace was one of the oldest buildings in the town. 私たちの宮殿は町で最も古い建物の1つでした。 The Montresors family had lived in it for hundreds of years. モントレゾール家は何百年もの間そこに住んでいました。 We had burled our dead in the rooms under the palace. 私たちは宮殿の下の部屋で死者を殺した。 These tombs were quiet, dark places that no one but myself ever visited. これらの墓は、私以外の誰も訪れたことのない静かで暗い場所でした。

Late one evening, during carnival season I happened to meet Fortunato on the street. ある晩遅く、カーニバルのシーズン中に、私はたまたま通りでフォルトゥナートに会いました。 He was going home alone from a party. 彼はパーティーから一人で家に帰っていた。 Fortunato was beautiful in his silk suit made of many colors - yellow, green, purple and red. フォルトゥナートは、黄色、緑、紫、赤など、さまざまな色で作られたシルクのスーツを着て美しく見えました。 On his head he wore an orange cap covered with little silver bells. 彼の頭には小さな銀の鐘で覆われたオレンジ色の帽子をかぶっていた。 I could see he had been drinking too much wine. 彼がワインを飲みすぎていたのが見えた。 He threw his arms around me. 彼は私の周りに腕を投げた。 He said he was glad to see me. I said I was glad to see him too, because I had a little problem. 少し問題があったので、私も彼に会えてうれしいと言いました。

"What is it?" he asked putting his large hand on my shoulder. 彼は私の肩に大きな手を置くように頼んだ。

"My dear Fortunato," I said, "I'm afraid I have been very stupid. 「私の愛するフォルトゥナート」と私は言いました。 The man who sells me wine said he had a rare barrel of Amontillado wine. 私にワインを売っている人は、珍しいアモンティリャードワインの樽を持っていると言いました。 I believed him and I bought it from him. 私は彼を信じて、彼からそれを買いました。 But now I'm not so sure that the wine is really Amontillado. しかし今では、ワインが本当にアモンティリャードであるかどうかはわかりません。

"What?" he said. "A cask of Amontillado at this time of year? 「今年のこの時期のアモンティリャードの樽? An entire barrel? バレル全体? Impossible!" 不可能!"

"Yes, I was very stupid. I paid the wineman the full price he wanted, without asking you to taste the wine first. 私はあなたに最初にワインを味わうように頼むことなく、彼が望む全額をワインマンに支払いました。 But I couldn't find you, and I was afraid he would sell the cask of Amontlado to someone else. しかし、私はあなたを見つけることができませんでした、そして私は彼がアモントラドの樽を他の誰かに売るのではないかと心配しました。 So, I bought It."

"A cask of Amontillado?" 「アモンティリャードの樽?」 Fortunato repeated. "Where is it?"

I pretended I didn't hear his question. Instead I told him I was going to visit our friend Luchesi. "He will be able to tell me if the wine is really Amontillado," I said.

Fortunato laughed in my face, "Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from vinegar." フォルトゥナートは私の顔に笑いました。「ルチェシはアモンティリャードと酢を区別できません。」

I smiled to myself and said, "But some people say that he is as good a Judge of wine as you are." 私は自分に微笑んで言った、「しかし、彼はあなたと同じようにワインの裁判官だと言う人もいます」。

Fortunato grabbed my arm. "Take me to it, "he said. 「私を連れて行ってください」と彼は言った。 "I'll taste the Amontillado for you." 「私はあなたのためにアモンティリャードを味わいます。」

"But, my friend," I protested. 「でも、私の友達」私は抗議した。 "It is late. The wine is in my wine-cellar underneath the palace. ワインは宮殿の下の私のワインセラーにあります。 Those rooms are very damp and cold. And the walls drip with water." そして壁は水で滴り落ちる。」

"I don't care," he said. "I am the only person who can tell you if your wineman has cheated you. 「あなたのワインマンがあなたをだましたかどうかをあなたに伝えることができるのは私だけです。 Luchesi cannot." ルチェシはできません。」

Fortunato turned, and still holding me by the arm pulled me down the street to my home. フォーチュナートは振り返り、それでも私を腕で抱きしめて、通りを下って私の家に引っ張った。

The building was empty - my servants were enjoying carnival. 建物は空でした-私の使用人はカーニバルを楽しんでいました。 I knew they would be gone all night. 私は彼らが一晩中消えることを知っていました。

I took two large candles, lit them and gave one to Fortunato. 私は2つの大きなろうそくを取り、それらに火をつけ、1つをFortunatoに渡しました。 I started down the dark, twisting stairway, with Fortunato close behind me. 私は暗くて曲がりくねった階段を下り始め、フォルトゥナートが私の後ろに近づいた。 At the bottom of the stairs the damp air wrapped itself around our bodies. 階段の一番下で、湿った空気が私たちの体を包み込みました。

"Where are we?" Fortunato asked. "I thought you said the cask of Amontillado was in your wine-cellar." 「アモンティリャードの樽があなたのワインセラーにあるとあなたが言ったと思いました。」

"It is," I said. "The wine-cellar is just beyond these tombs where the dead of my family are kept. 「ワインセラーは、私の家族の死者が保管されているこれらの墓のすぐ向こうにあります。 Surely, you are not afraid of walking through the tombs." 確かに、あなたは墓を歩くことを恐れていません。」

He turned and looked into my eyes. 彼は振り返って私の目を覗き込んだ。

"Tombs?" he said. He began to cough, the silver bells on his cap jingled.

"My poor friend," I said, "how long have you had that cough?" 「私のかわいそうな友達」と私は言いました。

"That's nothing," he said. 「それは何もない」と彼は言った。 But he couldn't stop coughing.

"Come," I said firmly, "we will go back upstairs. Your health is important. You are rich, respected, admired and loved. あなたは金持ちで、尊敬され、賞賛され、愛されています。 You have a wife and children. Many people would miss you if you die. We will go back before you get seriously ill. I can go to Luchesi for help with the wine."

"No!" he cried. "This... hmm... cough is nothing. It will not kill me. I won't die... hmm... from a cough." 私は死ぬことはありません...うーん...咳で...」

"That is true," I said. "But you must be careful." 「しかし、あなたは注意しなければなりません。」

He took my arm and we began to walk through the cold dark rooms. We went deeper and deeper into the cellar.

Finally, we arrived in a small room. Bones were pushed high against one wall. 骨は1つの壁に押し付けられました。 A doorway in another wall opened to an even smaller room about one meter wide and two meters high. 別の壁の出入り口は、幅1メートル、高さ2メートルのさらに小さな部屋に通じていました。 Its walls were solid rock. その壁は固い岩でした。

"Here we are," I said. "I hid the cask of Amontillado in there. I pointed to the smaller room."

Fortunato lifted his candle and stepped into the tiny room. I immediately followed him. 私はすぐに彼についてきました。 He stood stupidly staring at two iron hand-cuffs chained to a wall of the tiny room. 彼は小さな部屋の壁に鎖でつながれた2つの鉄の手錠を見つめて愚かに立っていた。 I grabbed his arms and locked them into the metal hand-cuffs. 私は彼の腕をつかみ、金属製の手錠に固定しました。 It took only a moment. He was too surprised to fight me. 彼は私と戦うにはあまりにも驚いた。 I stepped outside the small room.

"Where is the Amontillado?" he cried.

"Ah, yes," I said. "The cask of Amontillado."

I leaned over and began pushing aside the pile of bones against the wall. 私は身を乗り出し、骨の山を壁に押し付け始めました。 Under the bones was a basket of stone blocks, some cement and a small shovel. 骨の下には、石のブロックのバスケット、セメント、小さなシャベルがありました。 I had hidden the materials there earlier. 私は以前にそこに資料を隠していました。 I began to fill the doorway of the tiny room with stones and cement.

By the time I lay the first row of stones Fortunato was no longer drunk. 私が最初の石を置くまでに、フォルトゥナートはもう酔っていませんでした。 I heard him moaning inside the tiny room for ten minutes. Then there was a long silence.

I finished the second and the third rows of stone blocks. 2列目と3列目の石のブロックを完成させました。 As I began the fourth row, I heard Fortunato begin to shake the chains that held him to the wall. 4列目を始めると、フォルトゥナートが壁に固定されていた鎖を振り始めたのが聞こえました。 He was trying to pull them out of the granite wall. 彼はそれらを花崗岩の壁から引き出そうとしていました。

I smiled to myself and stopped working so that I could better enjoy listening to the noise. After a few minutes he stopped.

I finished the fifth, the sixth and the seventh rows of stones. The wall I was building in the doorway was now almost up to my shoulders. 私が戸口に建てていた壁は、今ではほとんど肩まで届いていました。

Suddenly, loud screams burst from the throat of the chained man. 突然、鎖でつながれた男の喉から大きな叫び声が爆発した。 For a moment I worried. What if someone heard him? 誰かが彼の言うことを聞いたらどうしますか? Then I placed my hand on the solid rock of the walls and felt safe. それから私は壁の固い岩の上に手を置き、安全だと感じました。 I looked into the tiny room, but he was still screaming. And I began to scream too. My screams grew louder than his and he stopped. 私の悲鳴は彼より大きくなり、彼は止まった。

It was now almost midnight. I finished the eighth, the ninth and the tenth rows. All that was left was a stone for the last hole in the wall. 残ったのは壁の最後の穴の石だけでした。

I was about to push it in when I heard a low laugh from behind the stones. 石の後ろから低い笑い声が聞こえたとき、私はそれを押し込もうとしていました。 The laugh made the hair on my head stand up. 笑いで頭の毛が立ち上がった。 Then, Fortunato spoke in a sad voice that no longer sounded like him. それから、フォルトゥナートはもはや彼のように聞こえなくなった悲しい声で話しました。

He said, "Well, you have played a good joke on me. 彼は言った、「まあ、あなたは私に良い冗談を言った。 We will laugh about it soon over a glass of that Amontillado. そのアモンティリャードのグラスの上ですぐにそれについて笑うでしょう。 But isn't it getting late? でも遅くなりませんか? My wife and my friends will be waiting for us. Let us go." 行こう」

"Yes," I replied. "Let us go."

I waited for him to say something else. 私は彼が何か他のことを言うのを待った。 I heard only my own breathing. 自分の呼吸しか聞こえませんでした。

"Fortunato," I called.

No answer.

I called again, "Fortunato!"

Still no answer.

I hurried to put the last stone into the wall and put the cement around it. 私は急いで最後の石を壁に入れ、その周りにセメントを置きました。 Then I pushed the pile of bones in front of the new wall I had built... それから私は私が建てた新しい壁の前に骨の山を押しました... Затем я пододвинул груду костей к новой стене, которую построил...

That was fifty years ago. For half a century now no one has touched those bones. 半世紀の間、今では誰もそれらの骨に触れていません。 May he rest in peace. 彼が安らかに眠りますように。

- THE END -