"These vaults are extensive."
"The Montresors were a great and numerous family."
"I forget your arms."
"A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a
serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel."
"And the motto?"
"Nemo me impune lacessit."
"Good!" he said.
The wine sparkled in his eyes and the bells jingled. My own
fancy grew warm with the Medoc. We had passed through walls of piled
bones, with casks and puncheons intermingling, into the inmost
recesses of the catacombs. I paused again, and this time I made bold
to seize Fortunato by an arm above the elbow.
"The nitre! See, it increases. It hangs like moss
upon the vaults. We are below the river's bed. The drops of
moisture trickle among the bones. Come, we will go back ere it is
too late. Your cough --"
"It is nothing. Let us go on. But first, another
draught of the Medoc."