A legend holds that the inspiration for "The Cask of Amontillado" came from a story Poe had heard at Castle Island in Massachusetts when he was a private there in 1827 (Bergen 106). According to this legend, Poe was told the story of a brawl in which one lieutenant named Drane killed another officer, named Massie, after a disagreement at cards. Some versions of the legend hold that Drane was subsequently buried alive by friends of Massie, but this report appears to be an inaccuracy influenced by Poe's story, as Drane is known to have been alive years later. A report of a skeleton discovered on the island may be a confused remembering of Poe's major source, Joel Headley's "A Man Built in a Wall," which recounts the author's seeing an immured skeleton in the wall of a church in Italy (Mabbott 1254).
It was now midnight, and my task was drawing to a close. I had completed the eighth, the ninth and the tenth tier. I had finished a portion of the last and the eleventh; there remained but a single stone to be fitted and plastered in. I struggled with its weight; I paced it partially in its destined position. But now there came from out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs upon my head. It was succeeded by a sad voice, which I had difficulty in recognising as that of the noble Fortunato. The voice said -