Just reread Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of the Amontillado.” A great short story. The last lines are chilling. Fortunato cries out for mercy as Montressor places the final brick in his living tomb:

“For the love of God, Montressor!”

“Yes,” I said, “for the love of God!”

But to these words I hearkened in vain for a reply. I grew impatient. I called aloud —


No answer. I called again —


No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick — on account of the dampness of the catacombs. I hastened to make an end of my labor. I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat!

But I wonder. Did his heart grow sick because of remorse or because he could no longer hear the torment of Fortunato?