Once again, Wilson has appeared to counterfeit the exploits of William. At the very moment when William should have been counting his winnings, Wilson enters dramatically to reveal William's character. Glendinning offers William his coat, which he accepts, though he already carries his coat on his arm. Turns out the coat was Wilson's-- identical in every particular to his own. In horror, William flees Oxford to reside on the Continent, but Wilson hounds him as he makes his way first to Paris, then Rome, Vienna, Berlin, and Moscow. But the narrator notes that in no case did he ever encounter Wilson, "except to frustrate those schemes, or to disturb those actions, which, if fully carried out, might have resulted in bitter mischief." (Poe 168) Further, William realizes that since his flight from Bransby's, he has never seen his tormentor's face.
As in many of Poe's short stories, Montresor is the first-person narrator and appears to be speaking to a specific audience. However, whereas we can suppose that the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" is speaking to some authority figure in order to prove his sanity, in "The Cask of Amontillado" we know very little about Montresor's audience or motivations. The only hint we have comes in the first paragraph, where he implies that his audience already knows something of Montresor's thoughts and personality. The account occurs some fifty years after the event, suggesting that a somewhat older Montresor was never discovered and has not greatly changed his opinion that the crime was justified. Montresor has shown himself to be risk averse, so his audience must be someone that he trusts, perhaps a confessor or a relative. Possibly he is at the end of his life, and now that he can no longer face any severe consequences, he has decided to tell his story. The ambiguity of the circumstances and Montresor's escaping of justice lend a sinister tone to his story, which is further backed by Poe's extensive use of irony.
Poe responded with "The Cask of Amontillado", using very specific references to English's novel. In Poe's story, for example, Fortunato makes reference to the secret society of Masons , similar to the secret society in 1844 , and even makes a gesture similar to one portrayed in 1844 (it was a signal of distress). English had also used an image of a token with a hawk grasping a snake in its claws, similar to Montresor's coat of arms bearing a foot stomping on a snake – though in this image, the snake is biting the heel. In fact, much of the scene of "The Cask of Amontillado" comes from a scene in 1844 that takes place in a subterranean vault. In the end, then, it is Poe who "punishes with impunity" by not taking credit for his own literary revenge and by crafting a concise tale (as opposed to a novel) with a singular effect, as he had suggested in his essay " The Philosophy of Composition ".