Once in the spring, in Moscow, at an unusually hot sunset, two citizens appeared at the Patriarch’s Ponds: Mikhail Alexandrovich Berlioz, chairman of the board of one of the major literary organizations; he was also the editor of a thick art magazine, and the poet Ivan Nikolaevich Ponyrev, who created under the pseudonym Bezdomny.
It should be noted two oddities of this May evening. The first – along the entire alley, parallel to Malaya Bronnaya, there was not a single person. The second oddity concerned one Berlioz and expressed itself in that he was suddenly seized by a dull, unreasonable fear, which had a sharp needle in his heart. From the thickened May air, a transparent citizen of a strange kind was woven. On his small head there is a jockey cap, a checkered kuruzy
From fear, Berlioz squeezed his eyes, and when he opened them, the checkered one was gone. Berlioz decided that he just pissed off his heart and must go to Kislovodsk for a rest. After that, he calmed down and resumed his conversation with his companion. The fact is that the Homeless was ordered a large anti-religious poem, and he wrote it. Jesus in the image of the poet turned out to be a living character, however, completely unattractive, outlined in black colors. Berlioz wanted to explain to the young poet that the very existence of Christ is a myth, and all the stories about him are simple inventions. And at that time, when Berlioz told Bezdomny about ancient deities, the first person appeared in the alley. He was tall, his mouth was platinum crowns on the left side, gold on his right, dressed in expensive foreign clothes. In a word – a foreigner.
Hearing the conversation between the literary men, he politely took off his headdress and asked permission to join the conversation, because the subject was unusually interesting, and was delighted to learn that his interlocutors are atheists.
The conversation turned to who actually controls the life of the human and all the order on earth. The homeless person hurried to reply that the person himself is engaged
Offering poets to smoke, he continued the conversation. Passed to the fact that a person is not just mortal, but sometimes also suddenly mortal. Then Berlioz said that today’s evening meeting in Massolit is not, will take place. On the question of Mikhail Alexandrovich why – he answered that he would cut off the head of a woman, and that Annushka had already not only bought, but also poured sunflower oil.
The homeless, having dragged Berlioz from the bench, whispered warmly that the foreigner should ask for documents, because he looks like a spy, and offered to detain him.
The foreigner again, as if reading the thoughts of his interlocutors, got his documents. Berlioz was able to see on the business card an inscription with foreign letters – the professor and the initial letter of the surname – double “B”. The professor said that he is a historian, invited to the State Library as the world’s only specialist in black magic. Berlioz calmed down, hearing that he was a historian. The professor beckoned to both poets and said that they should mean that Jesus really existed.
On the demand of Berlioz to produce any proof, he replied that there was no need for proof, and he began his story…
In a white cloak with a bloody scam, shuffling the cavalry gait early in the morning of the fourteenth day of the spring month of Nisan, the procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate, came out into the covered colonnade of Herod the Great’s palace.
Most of all in the world the procurator hated the smell of rose oil and foresaw a bad day, as he began to sense this smell from dawn. The procurator began an attack of an invincible, terrible disease called hemicrania, in which half a headache, and there is neither the means nor any salvation.
The prosecutor was prepared an armchair by the fountain, he sat in it, not looking at anyone, and stretched out his hand to the side. The secretary put a parchment in her. Unable to resist the painful grimace, the procurator briefly read what was written about the prisoner from Galilee and asked if they had not sent the case to the tetrarch. The secretary replied that the Tetrarch refused to give an opinion on the case and sent him to Pontius Pilate for approval. Pilate ordered to bring the accused.
Two legionaries put before the procurator a man of about twenty-seven, dressed in an old blue tunic, and with a white bandage on his head. On the face of the accused there were signs of beating. The aforementioned looked at the procurator with alarming curiosity. Pontius Pilate quietly asked the arrested man whether it was true that he persuaded the people to destroy the Yershalaim church.
Saying this, the procurator sat like a stone, and only barely moved his lips, because he was afraid to swing his burning head.
The man with bound hands involuntarily leaned forward and, calling the procurator a good man, tried to start a conversation. Pontius Pilate was angry at the fact that he was called a good man. He replied to the defendant that he was called a monster in Judea, and ordered to come to him by the hentwoman Rat, who was so huge and wide at the shoulders that he shielded the sun.
The procurator ordered the Rat to teach the defendant standing before him how to talk with the representative of power. Kenturion, slightly swinging, struck the prisoner by the scourge on his shoulders, causing him to fall, as if he had been knocked down. Mark put one foot on his feet with one hand, ordered the Roman procurator to call “hegemon” and not speak other words.
A minute later, the accused again appeared before the prosecutor. A dull, sick voice asked his name, and the arrested man, all wanting to answer sensibly, replied that his name was Yeshua, nicknamed him Ha-Nozri, he was from Gamal. On subsequent questions the prosecutor replied that he was of blood, did not know his parents do not remember, they said that his father was a Syrian. He does not have a permanent place of residence, he knows the grammar, Greek and Aramaic languages.
Pilate lifted one eye with effort, looked surprised and continued his further conversation in Greek. The Procurator again repeated his question about whether the accused really convicted the people to destroy the church in Yershalaim, adding that it was written for Yeshua a little, but enough was written to hang him. Ga-Nozri tried to persuade the procurator that all the confusion was due to the fact that he was misinformed. A man with a goat parchment follows him and writes everything, and when Yeshua himself looked into this parchment, he was horrified, because he did not say anything of what is written there.
Pilate inquired what kind of person this was. Yeshua replied that Levi Matvey, the tax collector, was calling him. At first the publican regarded the philosopher hostile and even insulted him, but then threw money on the road and went traveling with Ga-Nozri.
The procurator, continuing to feel unbearable pain, thought that it would be easiest to hang this person, and then drive everyone away, order the room to be darkened, to demand cold water and call his beloved dog Bang, complaining about her illness for hemicrania. He looked at the man standing in front of him, painfully remembering why he was here, and when he remembered, he asked once again whether it was true that Ha-Nozri had slandered the people at the market to destroy the Yershalaim church. The prisoner replied that he had merely said that the temple of the old faith would collapse and a new temple of truth would be created. Pilate was indignant, why this man speaks about the truth, without having the slightest idea about it. Mentally, he wished himself a poison because of the aggravated headache and suddenly heard Yeshua’s voice.
Truth, said the philosopher, above all, is that the procurator has a headache and hurts so much that he thinks faintheartedly of death. Pontius Pilate difficult even to just look at anyone, not to mention the conversation. Yeshua is distressed by being the executioner of the procurator, who can not think of anything, and wants only one thing: that his dog come. Then he said that the tortures of the Igemon would soon pass.
The secretary, who had previously recorded everything, looked up and stared at his boss.
The philosopher went on to say that the prosecutor would be greatly benefited by the walk, during which he would gladly accompany Pilate. The trouble is that the procurator is completely divorced from the people. You can not live by placing all your affection in a dog.
The procurator gave the order to untie the hands of the arrested person and began to inquire whether the doctor was standing in front of him and how he knew that Pontius Pilate wanted to call the dog. Yeshua replied that he was not a doctor, although he knew Latin, but about a dog – so the hegemon constantly moved his hand through the air, as if drawing a silhouette of a dog.
The procurator observed that the language of the arrested person is very well suspended, and therefore he does not doubt that there were crowds of idle gapers behind Ha-Nozri. Then the procurator asked if they were telling the truth that the prisoner had driven into Yershalaim on the donkey, and crowds of idle chasers ran after him and sang praises to him, as if to some prophet. Yeshua was surprised, because he had no donkey, and he entered the city only accompanied by Levi Matvey alone. To the subsequent questions of the procurator, Ha-Nozri replied that Dismas, Gestas and Varvavan did not know, he always uses the words “good people”, because in the world, in his opinion, there are no evil people, and even Mark Rat would have changed if he could talk.
At this time, the swallow swiftly flew to the colonnade, and in the light and easy now head of the procurator a decision arose that he would not endorse the death sentence of Ha-Nozri, pronounced by the Little Sanhedrin. Moreover, the procurator decided to present the philosopher himself as a mentally ill person. The secretary handed another parchment to the procurator, after reading which, Pontius Pilate changed his face. He asked if the philosopher had said anything about the great Caesar. The prosecutor’s face was menacing, but his eyes were alarmed. He repeated his question, trying to give some sign to the accused. Igomon tried to find out if Ga-Nozri knew a Judas from Kiriath, and that he was telling this Judas about Caesar.
The arrested responded that he had indeed met yesterday with Judas, who kindly invited him to dinner and asked him to express his views on state power. Yeshua expressed the opinion that every power is violence against people, and a time will come when no power will be needed, a person will go to the kingdom of good and justice. Judas wrote all the time. And when Ga-Nozri expressed his view on the state system, the soldiers burst in and grabbed him.
At the same time, the secretary quickly recorded everything he had heard. The procurator, looking at the secretary and the convoy with hatred, demanded to take the convoy from the balcony and leave him alone with the criminal, since there was a state deal here. Then he spoke again to the prisoner, trying to find out whether he really believed that the robbers who had killed four people and the dirty traitor of Judah were good people, and did Ga-Nozri think that the realm of truth would come. The prisoner confirmed that this is exactly what he thinks.
The Roman procurator announced that he could not release a man who said what Yeshua Ha-Nozri had said, because he did not want to be executed instead of a state criminal, and forbade the accused from talking to anyone. Then he dictated his decision on approving the death penalty to a state criminal.
Then, in the upper garden on the terrace, he met with the acting president of the Sanhedrin, the high priest of the Jewish Joseph Kayfa. It was quiet in the garden, but the procurator immediately caught the impending sound wave and realized that it was a large crowd in the square, awaiting sentencing of the captured criminals and agitated by the recent riots in Yershalaim.
The procurator informed the high priest that he had approved a death sentence, to which three robbers were sentenced: Dismas, Gestas, Varvravan, and this Jeshua Ha-Nozri. One of the last two according to local customs in connection with the great Easter coming today is to be released. And the procurator decided to find out from the priest who of the two criminals should be released, Varvavan or Ga-Nozri? Joseph Kaifa bowed his head in a sign that the question was clear to him, and said that the Sanhedrin asked to let Varvavan go. The procurator knew full well that such an answer would follow, but now his task was to express his astonishment with all his appearance, and explained himself. Pontius Pilate said that the Roman authorities did not encroach on the rights of local spiritual authorities, but the gravity of the crimes of the accused is unequal. Varvravan is a robber and a murderer, and Ha-Notzri is just a mad philosopher. After that, I once again asked the high priest about who the Sanhedrin wants to leave at liberty. Kaifa again confirmed that he intended to release Varvavan. He confirmed this for the third time.
It was all over. The procurator had a feeling that he had not talked with the philosopher about something, or maybe he did not listen. And a strange thought struck him – the thought that immortality had come. Now for the procurator all the smells that had strangled and tormented him before, but there was a new feeling. It was anger of powerlessness.
Kaifa noticed that it was stuffy today. But Pilate retorted. The case, they say, is not stifling, but – that the procurator and the high priest are tight, and advised Joseph Kaifa to protect himself. The High Priest proudly and quietly advised the Roman Procurator to choose words and expressions, and hinted that their conversation could be heard. The procurator painted a smile and replied that no one would break into the enclosed garden and he himself did not look like the young wandering holy fool who is being executed today. In this garden, even a mouse will not slip, even this one… from the city of Kiriath. And finally Pontius Pilate exclaimed that from now on there will be no rest neither for the high priest himself, nor for his people. This he says, Pontius Pilate, the horseman of the Golden Spear! The procurator promised to sink the Jewish people in blood, sent to death the philosopher with his peaceful sermon. Kaifa answered fearlessly, that he knows the hatred of the Roman procurator for the Jewish people, but this philosopher is dangerous to the Jewish people by wanting to outrage the true faith and bring the people under Roman swords. Therefore the high priest believes that this person is very dangerous, and advised the procurator to listen to the noise of the crowd. Did not Varvavan call her?
The Procurator interrupted the conversation, apologizing in exquisite terms to the high priest, and, after a short meeting, went to the balcony to announce to the people about the death sentence to the four state criminals. After that, he said that one of them, according to local customs, will remain alive, and announced the name of this man – Varvravan. The crowd roared, throwing out the accumulated feelings, and the Procurator left the scene, knowing that the convoy was already leading three men to the Bald Mountain. Order supported the troops, and Pilate rushed to the gate of the palace. It was about ten o’clock in the morning.
The foreigner ended his story with the words that it was at ten o’clock in the morning. This story was extremely interesting, so much so that both writers did not notice how evening came. Berlioz noted that no one can confirm the professor’s story. To which he replied that he himself can confirm this, because he himself was with Pontius Pilate, and with the high priest, Kaifa was talking. But he asked to keep it in strictest confidence.
Berlioz realized that he was dealing with a madman. He asked where the consultant would live. The foreigner replied that he was in the apartment of Berlioz. Berlioz rushed to call the foreigners’ office to warn about the abnormal consultant from abroad. The professor folded his hands in a voice and shouted after the writer: should not a telegram be sent to my uncle in Kiev? At the exit to the Bronnaya Berlioz, a strange citizen met-with eunuchs, like chicken feathers, insolent eyes, a jockey cap, checkered trousers, from under which dirty socks were looking out. The citizen indicated to him the turnstile and began to ask for money for a quarter of a liter: “recover from the former regent.” Berlioz took up his hand on the turnstile, was about to step onto the rails, when suddenly a red and white light splashed into his face, and the inscription “Beware of the tram” caught fire. Mikhail Alexandrovich slipped and was thrown onto the rails. Trying to grasp something, Berlioz fell. He managed to see the white face of the woman, the wagon driver, in the tram that was rushing towards him. Around the whole street screeched. The moon flashed, split into pieces, and all was lost.
Under the grate of the avenue, a round dark object was thrown out. It was the cut off head of Berlioz.
Hysterical women’s cries subsided, police whistles whistled, two ambulances left, the wipers cleaned the blood puddles and sprinkled with sand, and Ivan Nikolayevich fell onto the bench and stayed on it. Something like paralysis happened to him. He was so mad that, falling on a bench, he bit his hand to the blood. Everyone was trying to understand: how could it be, because he had just sat, talking with Berlioz, and suddenly – his head? Near him two women suddenly collided, and one squealed that Annushka, who had spilled sunflower oil, was to blame for everything. And this one, the poor one, slipped and rode on the rails.
The poet snatched the word “Annushka” from all that was said, and the words “sunflower oil” and “Pontius Pilate” appeared in his inflamed brain. This verbal chain led Ivan Nikolayevich’s thoughts to a suspicious foreigner.
With an effort of will, he rose from the bench and headed for the place where the mad foreign professor had recently left with his colleague. It turned out, fortunately, that he had not left yet, and in the light of the moon, it seemed to the Homeless that he was holding a sword in his hands, not a cane. At the same place was a checkered crook – regent.
Ivan Nikolayevich approached the mad professor with a chilling heart and, looking into his face, was horrified to see that there was not the slightest sign of madness in his face. After that, stepping on this man, he demanded to say who he is. The foreigner with a strong accent replied that he did not understand what was being said. Ivan Nikolayevich entered into a verbal skirmish with the professor, the checker interfered, trying to confuse Homeless, but then he disappeared through the earth.
Ivan gasped when he saw the hated unknown at the exit from Patriarshy Lane, and not just one, but accompanied by a regent and a cat of enormous size, and the cat paced on its hind legs.
The homeless rushed for the villains, but could not catch up with them. He was convinced that it was almost impossible. And in the crush Ivan this trio and was completely lost. I saw only that they were leaving in all directions. The regent screwed himself into the bus, which flew to Arbat Square, and slipped away. The cat dived into the tram, and tried to pay the conductor for the fare. She, shaking with hatred, cried out that it was not allowed to go to the tram with cats. The cat acted like a man who is not allowed to go to the tram, but he needs to go. He hung on the tram “gut” behind the last car.
Ivan Nikolayevich was embarrassed, but not for long, because he realized that the professor should be in house number 13 and necessarily in apartment number 47.
After breaking into the apartment and frightening all the residents to death, Homeless and there found no one. He did not find him in a deserted alley. He was not on the Moscow River either. And to ask if anyone had seen a suspicious foreigner, there was no possibility, because the lane was empty.
Taking off his clothes, Homeless instructed her to some bearded man, who was sitting on the steps leading to the Moscow River, and himself rushed into the water to cool a little. After swimming, he returned to the place where he left his clothes, but there was neither his dress nor the bearded man. The only clothes were the clothes of the latter – striped pants, torn sweaters, an icon, a candle and a box of matches. The homeless man, shaking his fist at someone unknown, put on his left-over things. At the same time he doubted whether he would be able to pass through Moscow like this, was still upset about the loss of his official identity, which he never parted with.
After that I decided to go to Griboyedov, because a suspicious alien, according to Bezdomny, should have been there.
Ivan’s fears were fully confirmed, passers-by began to look suspiciously at him. So he left the big street and began to make his way through small lanes, hoping to avoid asking about his appearance. Along the way, for some reason, he could hear the roar of a polonaise from the opera “Eugene Onegin”.
An old two-story cream-colored house was located in the boulevard ring. He was called “Griboyedov’s House” on the grounds that they allegedly owned his aunt’s aunt. True or not, nobody knows. And now this house was owned by MASSOLIT. House Griboyedov no one called him, and all said simply – Griboyedov.
The house housed, apart from the editorial departments, various accompanying services. Everyone who got into Griboyedov understood that the lucky ones, members of MASSOLITH, were living well.
On this day, at half past ten in the evening, there was only one room on the top floor illuminated. Twelve writers, expecting the arrival of Mikhail Alexandrovich, languished in it. They rustled and resented, but in vain. Not appearing at the meeting Berlioz at this time was far from Griboyedov – in the morgue. Near the headless body were a pathologist, his prosektor, the investigator and Deputy Berlioz for Massolith writer Zheldybin, who came here after staying at the apartment of the murdered and sealing his papers in the interests of the investigation. All those who stood at the table conferred; sew a head to the body or just cover it with a black veil.
Yes, Berlioz could not call anywhere, so the writers who had waited for him in vain, having lost all patience, descended into the restaurant.
Suddenly, at one of the tables, the word “Berlioz” flared up. A wave of grief shot up at the terrible news of the death of Berlioz, but this wave kept and kept up and began to subside. We are alive! .. Someone returned to his table with vodka and chicken cutlets. Jazz broke up, some journalists went to their editorial offices to compose obituaries. The restaurant began to live its normal life. But something extraordinary happened. Everyone saw the light of a candle, and along with this spark they saw a dressed in white ghost walking toward the restaurant. The doorman who came out to block the ghost road to the restaurant, for some reason did not do it, silly smile. Everyone saw that this was not a ghost, but a famous poet – Ivan Bezdomny. He was barefoot, in a torn white sweatshirt and underpants. A paper half-stained icon of an unknown saint was pinned to his chest, and in his hands he held a wedding candle. The right cheek of Homeless was fresh.
Against the backdrop of reigning deep silence and questions, as the police did not seize him, Ivan Nikolayevich began to shout and tell that Misha Berlioz was killed by a foreign consultant, professor and spy in the Patriarch’s Ponds. He did not remember his surname, but, turning to the present, he demanded that they immediately call the police.
At this time, Archibald Archibaldovich, a man with the appearance of a pirate, scolded the doorman why he missed the man in his underpants. The doorman justified himself, they say, the person in the pants is a member of MASSOLITH. After reading the offending porter, the commander demanded clearly and accurately Pantelei from the pantry, the policeman, the protocol, the car and instructed that it was necessary to go to the psychiatric. And after a quarter of an hour the audience gathered around, watched as an unhappy young man was swept out of the doors of the restaurant, swaddled like a doll. Poor Ivan tried to get his foot in the poet’s song, Ryukhin, screaming that he was a bastard. Soon the truck drove off from the scene and carried away all the participants of the terrible, disgusting scandal.
Ivan Bezdomny was taken to the reception of a famous psychiatric clinic, recently rebuilt near Moscow on the river bank. The three orderlies kept their eyes on Ivan Nikolayevich. A worried poet Ryukhin was sitting next to him, who answered Stravinsky’s questions. Ryukhin looked into Ivan Homeless’s eyes and froze: there was no insanity in them. Ryukhin thought about the fact that they brought a perfectly healthy person to the clinic. But here the wounded Bezdomny expressed to Ryukhin everything that he thought about himself and his poems. Ryukhin froze from the kind of snake he had warmed on his chest, but do not contact the insane person!
The homeless person now answered the doctor himself about his behavior in the restaurant and his appearance. After the end of his story, he got up, said that he was wasting time here, and was about to leave, but the orderlies twisted it. A homeless person was injected with some medicine, after which he calmed down, saying that he was still imprisoned, put his head on the pillow and fell asleep. After that, Ryukhin saw a couch on wheels running out of the corridor, lit by blue night lamps, to which Ivan Nikolayevich, who was quietly, moved. The doctor, having given orders concerning the new patient, replied to Ryukhin that the affairs of the Homeless are not very good, and he put a preliminary diagnosis – schizophrenia.
The director of Variety Theater Stepa Likhodeev woke up in his apartment in the morning, which he occupied in half with the late Berlioz. I must say that this flat has long enjoyed a bad reputation – it completely lost people. Who went to work and did not return, whom the police invited on trifling matters, after which the person also disappeared without a trace, who disappeared, having left for the country. They disappeared from the bad apartment and wife of Likhodeev and Berlioz.
Approached to the mirror, Stepa saw a number of an unknown man dressed in black and in a black beret. Stepa silently stared at him. Silence was broken by the unknown, saying that the awakening of the most handsome Stepan Bogdanovich was awaiting. When asked by Likhodeev, anything the guest would say, he was already eleven, and he was appointed to ten. Stepan could not speak. Every word hurt him. Unknown, as if guessing the state of Likhodeev, advised to treat a similar like, because no pyramidone in this case will not help. Stepa realized that since he was found in this state, one must confess, and, hardly speaking his tongue, replied that yesterday he was a little…
The Visitor interrupted him and pointed to a skilfully covered tray, on which, except for a decanter with cold vodka, stood a skilfully picked up snack. After the first pile, Likhodeev’s condition began to improve, he even began to pronounce the words. Then Stepa remembered that he was at the dacha of the poet Khustov. But yesterday he was not interested, now he was occupied by the appearance in the bedroom of the unknown.
The stranger introduced himself. His name is Woland, he is a professor of black magic. Yesterday afternoon he came to Likhodeev, arriving from abroad to offer his tours in the Variety. Stepa yesterday agreed all the questions about Professor Woland’s speeches with the higher organizations and signed with the professor a contract for seven speeches. To clarify the contract, Woland was invited to report to Likhodeev at ten in the morning, which he did. And when he came, he was greeted by the housekeeper Grunya, who said that Berlioz was not at home, but if the visitor wants to see Likhodeev, then he should go to his bedroom and wait. Entering the bedroom, he saw in what condition the director of the Variety, and sent Grunya to the nearest grocery store for vodka and a snack and a pharmacy behind the ice.
Stepa asked to look at the contract. All the papers, including receipts for the issuance and receipt of money by Boland, were in perfect order. Likhodeyev went out into the corridor and was dumbstruck when he saw the seal on the door of Berlioz. Immediately in my memory there was a conversation with a neighbor on a questionable topic, which could not be started…
Stepa dialed the number of the director of the Variety Rimsky and asked in cautious terms how it was about the evening. In the tube answered that the posters of the black magician’s performance will now be. Stepa promised to come in half an hour and hung up. Likhodeyev wanted to ask the artist what to show in the Variety, but suddenly he saw in the mirror a strange long subject. Following the missing in the mirror the subject appeared a black cat of huge sizes, which also disappeared. Stepa shouted to Grunya why the cat was here, but Grunya answered him, but the guest. He replied that this cat belongs to him, and he sent Grunya to Voronezh, home, because she complained that Likhodeyev had not given her leave for a long time.
Stepa ran into the bedroom and saw his visitor no longer alone, but accompanied by the type seen in the mirror, and a cat of enormous size with a pile of vodka in one hand and a pickled mushroom on a fork in the other. Woland said he saw Stepan Bogdanovich’s amazement, and there is nothing to be surprised at. This is the suite of Mr. Woland, which requires a place. In this apartment, according to Woland, there is a superfluous, and this too Likhodeev himself. The checkered type and the cat voiced aloud everything that was thought about the professional qualities of the director of the Variety and personally about him. Then Likhodeev was dumbfounded. From the mirror came a small, but unusually broad-shouldered man, in a kettle on his head and with a canine that protruded from his mouth, while still fiery-red. Azazello for all the misdemeanors Likhodeev asked permission from Woland to throw him out of Moscow, which was immediately carried out.
Went to Stepan on the beach in Yalta.
In the psychiatric clinic, a longer acquaintance of the poet Ivan Bezdomny and Dr. Stravinsky took place. The doctor and his colleagues learned from Bezdomny all about his past life, and then asked about the incident yesterday at the Patriarch’s Ponds, without being surprised at the news about Pontius Pilate.
During the consultation, Homeless thought about how stupid and strange it all turned out: I wanted to warn others about the danger, but I went to a psychiatric hospital.
After the poet went to his room, a doctor came to him and talked for a long time. Homeless told him the truth about yesterday’s incident, the doctor patiently listened and did not contradict. At the end of the conversation, Stravinsky made a conclusion out loud that someone had frightened and upset Ivan Nikolaevich yesterday. Rescuing the patient, according to the doctor, in complete peace, and therefore the doctor strongly recommends that the patient stay in the hospital.
Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy, the chairman of the housing association in the house where the late Berlioz lived, was in terrible trouble. At first he participated in the work of the commission, which sealed the manuscripts and personal belongings of the deceased, and after that he was attacked by a large number of the so-called heirs of Mikhail Alexandrovich. Seeing that there was nowhere to go from them, Nikanor Ivanovich went to this most damned apartment number 50.
Entering, he called the housekeeper, but she did not respond, so Barefoot went deep into the apartment and was shocked to see the late unexpected citizen at the table in a checkered jacket, pince-nez and a jockey cap. Nikanor Ivanovich severely began to attack the guest, found out that his name was Koroviev, and made up the notion of him as a person not official, but even idle.
Barefoot demanded an explanation, to which Koroviev replied that he was an interpreter in the case of a foreigner who had a residence in this apartment. He told that Mr. Voland was invited by Variete’s director Stepan Likhodeev and offered to stay in his apartment while Likhodeev himself went to Yalta. And the chairman of the housing association wrote a letter with a request to temporarily register a foreigner. In response to Bosob’s objections that he had not received any letters from Likhodeev, Koroviev advised him to dig in his briefcase. And indeed, Nikanor Ivanovich found in him such a letter.
A desire to see the foreigner was followed by a polite but categorical refusal. The interpreter immediately made Nikanor Ivanovich one very interesting proposal. He asked permission for a foreign artist to live not only in the apartment of Likhodeev, but also on the half of the late Berlioz, for which the chairman of the housing association was promised a decent jackpot.
Without waiting for the consent of the chairman, Koroviev immediately by phone settled all the formalities with an intourist bureau obliging foreigners to live in hotels, and paid Nikanor Ivanovich on the immediately written contract five thousand rubles for the possibility of a weekly residence of a foreign artist in apartment No. 50. He was also kindly discharged a counterpart to the performance of the guest.
Only the chairman left the bad apartment, she heard a low voice, saying that he did not like this Nikanor Ivanovich, and that it would be very good if he did not come again.
And then Koroviev dialed the corresponding number and in a whiny voice said that Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy, residing at such and such an address, speculates in currency. This was followed by an indication of the place where this currency is hidden. And only Nikanor Ivanovich was sitting at the dinner table, when two faces appeared, at the sight of which Bosoy turned pale. Citizens went to the toilet, and a bundle of money was extracted from the ventilation duct, but not rubles, but currencies. In his defense, citizen Bosoi tried to present a contract with Boland and a letter from Likhodeev, but the portfolio was empty.
Five minutes later Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy was taken out of the house, accompanied by two persons. This was seen and then told to the neighbors by one of the tenants of the house, Timofey Kondratievich Kvassov, on whose behalf Koroviev spoke on the phone. An hour later, Koroviev appeared in Kvassov’s apartment, talked with him, after which they both disappeared.
Finitektor Varyete Roman and administrator. Varenukha discussed in the office of the Roman poster the forthcoming speeches of the magician Woland. They were very worried about the absence of Likhodeev, who called to work at eleven, said that he would come in half an hour, and he had not been there for four good hours. The home phone did not answer. Varenukha suggested that Stepan Bogdanovich could, like Berlioz, get under the tram. Roman through his teeth replied that it would be good…
At that very moment an employee came in and handed in an official telegram. I sent this message to the Yalta search, and it was written in it that this morning a mentally ill, half-dressed man appeared in the criminal investigation department and named himself Likhodeev. The message contained a demand to inform, where the director of Variete Likhodeev. Varenukha sent a telegram over the phone about the director of the Variety Likhodeev in Moscow.
The woman-bearer of the telegrams brought another lightning bolt, in which Likhodeyev’s request was to confirm his identity, as he was thrown into Yalta by the hypnosis of Woland. Roman and Varenukha began to doubt: for such a short period of time, which passed after a conversation with Likhodeyev on the phone in the morning, he, of course, could not be in Yalta. But how does he know about Woland? We tried once again to call apartment number 50, but there were silent.
They brought a third telegram. This time it was a phototelegram with a sample of Likhodeev’s handwriting and a request to confirm that it was indeed written by the director of the Variety. Both Roman and Varenukha recognized Likhodeev’s handwriting. In the last telegram there was a demand to establish secret surveillance over Woland. Roman tried to order a conversation with Yalta, but the line for some reason was spoiled. Explanations for all these incredible events could not be found.
After all, Rimsky sent a lightning bolt to the Yalta search. It said that he talked with Likhodeev at half past eleven in the morning by phone. After that, he did not attend the service, and there is no way to find him. The handwriting of Likhodeev of Rome confirms the observation of Woland is established.
After this, Rimsky folded all the telegrams into an envelope, wrote a few words on it and asked Varenukha to take these telegrams urgently. According to him, let them understand.
But at this time in the office Varenukha the phone rang, and a nasal, nasty voice in the receiver demanded that Ivan Savelievich not go anywhere with telegrams. The administrator began to resent, but the tube did not react in any way.
A thunderstorm began over Moscow. Varenukha went out into the garden and met a small fat man with a cat’s face. The fat man asked if Ivan Savelievich had a telegram in his briefcase. Then he reminded me that he had been asked not to carry telegrams anywhere and not to show it to anyone. The fat man went to Varenukha on the ear so that the administrator’s cap flew off in an unknown direction. Then came the second, broad-shouldered, red-haired, and also went to the administrator, but already on another ear. After that, they picked up Varenukha and rushed with him over Sadovaya. The street was flooded with rain at that time. In one minute the bandits dragged the barely living administrator to the house where the ill-fated apartment was. Varenukha was lifted to the fifth floor and thrown to the floor of apartment number 50. Here both robbers perished, and a completely naked red-haired girl with phosphor eyes appeared. The girl, the palms of which were colder than the ice, approached Varenukha and promised to kiss him. Then Varenukha lost his senses and did not feel the kiss.
At a time when a terrible storm began over the city and the streams of water flooded the streets, Ivan Bezdomny in a clinic for the mentally ill tried to compose a statement to the police with a description of all yesterday’s events. He did not succeed, because the words, thoughts and course of the incredible events did not form a single whole. And by the time the shower began, Ivan felt that he was exhausted, and burst into tears. The good medical assistant brought the doctor, he gave the patient a shot and said that he would not cry anymore. Ivan Nikolayevich calmed down and decided that instead of chasing a consultant, it would be better to learn from him the continuation of the story about Pontius Pilate. And so, when the dream was already sneaking up to the Homeless, the grate soundlessly went to the side, and on the balcony a mysterious figure appeared, hiding from the moonlight, and threatened Ivan with a finger.
The evening performance began at the Variety Theater. The Julie family demonstrated the wonders of bicycle technology. The only person who had never had any business before was the theater’s director, Gregory Danilovich Roman. He was gloomy, a cramp passed over his face. He was stunned by this story with the disappearance of Likhodeev, and then Varenukha disappeared. Of course, you could call the organization where, at the request of Rimsky, Varenukha went with the ill-fated telegrams, but Rimsky could not bring himself to do it. And when he decided to pick up the phone, it turned out that his phone did not work, as, indeed, all the others.
Grigory Danilovich was informed that a foreign artist had arrived. From this news, Rimsky somehow shuddered, and he himself went behind the scenes to receive the foreigner, since there was no one else to accept him.
The tour operator struck everyone, first of all, with a finak of marvelous cut and incredible length, and also by appearing in a black half-mask. No less amazing were his companions: a long checkered citizen in a cracked pince-nez and a black fat cat who, having entered the lavatory, sat down on the sofa at ease. Roman tried to squeeze out a polite smile, but he did not succeed. The checkered citizen himself was introduced as “their assistant”. The director of the Variety was surprised, since there was no question of any assistant in the contract.
The third bell rang, and the audience hurried into the hall, waiting for the performance to begin. It was opened by the entertainer Georges Bengalsky, known all over Moscow. After he finished his introductory nonsense, the curtain parted, and a magician appeared on stage, accompanied by his retinue. The magician demanded a chair, which immediately appeared on the stage, and, turning to the cellular companion, began to conduct a lengthy conversation about whether Moscow’s population had changed or not. That is, according to the speaker, the Muscovites outwardly, of course, changed, new suits and vehicles appeared – trams, cars. But the question is – have the citizens changed internally?
The audience quietly listened to this conversation, believing that this is a prelude to magical tricks. And only Bengalsky climbed into the pause and began to comment on the statements of the speakers.
The magician and his entourage turned their heads towards the entertainer, accusing him of misinterpreting the words, quite simply, he lied and continued the conversation.
Messire, as his accompanying cat and Fagot called him, continued to talk aloud about the Muscovites. He wondered if they had changed internally. Behind the scenes they began to shrug their shoulders in bewilderment. Maestro of black magic seemed to have guessed the mood of the audience and said that enough words. To begin with, he asked Fagot to show something unpretentious. The cat and Bugot began to show card tricks, at the end of which the decks were in the bosom of some spectators and turned into chervontsi. The excitement was growing in the hall, as the new chervonts began to fall from under the dome, all of them were looking for and grabbing. It is not known what would have happened if the entertainer had not found the strength to put air in his mouth and say that the respected public had just become a participant in a mass hypnosis session. After this statement, he added,
Fagot, like the public, Bengalsky’s statement did not like. He said that the money is real. And in general, according to him, the entertainer did not like him terribly. Bassoon asked the public what to do with this spoiling man. From the gallery I was told to tear off my head. The checkered gave the order to the cat, and Behemoth in two accounts unscrewed Georges Bengalsky’s head. Then the cat passed the head to Fagota, and he prorotno found out at the head whether she would continue to interfere with the session. Her head plaintively replied that there would not be, from the audience, women’s sobs and calls to forgive the unlucky entertainer were heard. Bassoon asked how Messire would order – put his head in place, or not. The magician, in thoughtfulness, uttered a small monologue about the fact that people remained the same, even charity sometimes knocks on their hearts, but only the apartment issue spoiled them… And then he ordered his head still to wear. In the twinkling of an eye the head was hoisted into place, and there was not a scar left, not the slightest trace of her absence. Bassoon shoved Bengal a pack of chervontses and drove them off the stage.
The entertainer barely managed to leave the stage and run out behind the scenes, as Rimsky rushed to him along with the other workers of the Variety, and tried to calm him down. But nothing helped, and soon the unfortunate Georges Bengalsky, who became violent, had to call a coach with the doctors. When the entertainers were taken away, Rimsky ran back to the stage and saw that new miracles were taking place on her. The magician disappeared with his chair, and Fagot on the stage unfolded a women’s shop.
The ladies were asked to change their clothes to the latest models of the famous Parisian ones; fashion designers and perfumers, and completely free. First, one lady decided to change her appearance. When she, much prettier, in the evening Parisian toilet, defiled to her place, the auditorium seemed to burst. The ladies rushed to the stage, first having the opportunity to try on clothes and choose perfume, and then already without this opportunity, they grabbed everything, as Bugot announced that in a minute the store closes. A pistol shot was heard, all the old things stacked on the stage, disappeared, as showcases, carpets and stools disappeared. The scene again became majestic and strict.
But a new face interfered. Someone Arkady Apollonovich Sempleyarov, chairman of the acoustic commission of the Moscow theaters, directly from lodge No. 2 with a sonorous bass, demanded that all tricks be trivialized. The impudent Fagot declared that he was ready to make a revelation. He asked his wife Sempleyarov where, in her opinion, her husband was last night. She answered with aplomb that, of course, at the meeting of the acoustic commission. Bassoon objected, saying that he had been visiting the actress of the traveling theater for four hours, named her name and address. After that, two women, who were sitting with Arkady Apollonovich in a box – a wife and a young relative, almost got into a fight. The tension arose was intensified by the cat, who demanded that the conductor “cut the march”. And the orchestra did not just break out, but it cut down some completely indecent, frantic march.
After that, in the Variety Theater, the real Babel of pandemonium began, the police rushed. And the magician and his entourage, who participated in the performance, disappeared from the scene.
At this time in the psychiatric hospital Ivan Bezdomny told his night visitor why he was in the clinic. After the poet finished his story, his visitor sympathetically put Ivan’s hand on his shoulder and said that Ivan himself was to blame, because with him it was impossible. On the impatient question of the Homeless, of whom it is a question, the guest replied that yesterday at the Patriarch’s Ponds Ivan Nikolayevich met with Satan.
The homeless man was dumbfounded, because, in his opinion, Satan does not exist. His interlocutor explained that this is really so, and it’s not worth doubting this patient of a psychiatric hospital. After that, Ivan realized that Woland really was at breakfast at Kant, and on the balcony of Pontius Pilate. Then he realized that Woland and his gang had to be stopped. Ivan’s guest smiled indulgently: calm down, tried, and enough. A homeless person should understand that nothing will come of it. The interlocutor of Ivan was annoyed that Ivan had met with Woland, and not himself. When asked by Ivan why he needed it, the guest replied that he was in the hospital, like Ivan, because of Pontius Pilate, or rather, for a novel about him.
The guest told his story. He did not name his name or his surname, he introduced himself in another way: “Master.” He took from his pocket a black hat with the letter “M” embroidered on it and put it on. And his story was like that.
Two years ago he worked in one of the Moscow museums, doing translations, being a historian by training. He lived alone, and it is not known how long this would have continued if he had not once won one hundred thousand rubles. He left the work, moved with Myasnitskaya closer to the Arbat, took off two small cozy rooms, and began to write a novel about Pontius Pilate. The novel was nearing its end, and one day, with the Master, something much more delightful than a win happened.
In a side street near Tverskaya, he met a woman. The master was struck not so much by the beauty of a stranger, as by the unseen loneliness in her eyes. They walked along a deserted street and were silent for a long time. Subsequently, the woman said that they loved each other for a long time, even without knowing each other, although she was married to another person, and he could not remember the name of the one on which he was married, remembered only her striped dress and the museum.
Soon this woman became his secret wife. She came every morning, sat next to him while he was writing, rereading the separate pages of the novel and repeating the phrases she liked. Finally, in August the novel was finished, an unknown typist reprinted it in five copies, and the novel was supposed to leave the secret shelter together with the author and come to life. After that, according to the narrator, his life was over.
He took the novel to the publishing house, but the editor replied that he should consult the critics of Latunsky and Ahriman. In the end, the Master was told that the editors were provided with materials for the next two years, and, naturally, the novel would not be printed.
Master took the novel to another publishing house, the newspaper printed a large enough excerpt from the novel. Following this, one after another critical articles followed – one more devastating than the other. The author of one article proposed to strike at the “Pilate”, the second was called “The Enemy Under the Wing of the Editor”, and the most disgusting was the article by the literary Latunsky “Militant Old Believer”. After such criticism, there was nothing to think about that the novel would be printed.
Margarita was very worried with her lover all this story. They began to leave more often – she went out for a walk. And the Master had a friend. Once a man entered the gate, who had some business for the developer, approached the Master, got to know him and very quickly got along. He was recommended by a journalist named Aloysius Mogarych. This man was unusually clever, flattered about the novel, but explained in detail and clearly to the Master, having analyzed the novel into separate chapters, why the novel can not be printed. Margarita Aloysius Mogarich categorically did not like, but she left this acquaintance to the discretion of the Master.
The articles did not stop, and there was a feeling that the authors of these articles did not say what they wanted. That is why the tone of the articles was all angrier and fiercer. The master began to understand that he was ill. Margarita began to ask him to spend the remaining ten thousand for the rest on the Black Sea. He agreed to do it the other day, though, feeling that he would not have to do it.
The master began to pursue fear, which replaced disappointment from the editorial office’s refusal and surprise from devastating criticism. He began to see a huge octopus crawling through the window. One evening, the Master thought that the autumn darkness would flow into the window and strangle him. He burned his novel in the stove.
As if feeling that the Master was in trouble, Margarita came to him in the evening. I saw his condition, pulled out a burnt notebook from the stove. She said that she would come to him tomorrow forever, considering herself obliged to explain herself before this to her husband, from whom she had not seen anything bad. After that, she left the Master’s dwelling.
After a while there was a knock at the window. The master did not own himself, and in his gray coat, but with tattered buttons, he soon stung in the courtyard of the cold, fearing everything in the world. Then he listened – the gramophone played in his rooms. Master rushed to the street, where the driver of one of the passing trucks took pity on him and took him to this hospital.
When asked by Ivan about Margarita, the Master replied that he could not write to her, since a letter from a madhouse could not be sent to her address. He hopes that she forgot him, and does not want to make her unhappy. Regarding his condition, the Master replied to Ivan that his illness is hopeless, despite the fact that the brilliant psychiatrist Dr. Stravinsky promises to cure him.
The night visitor of Ivan finished his story, saying that this clinic is not bad. And the keys to the chambers that the Master accidentally managed to obtain, expanded his opportunities for communication.
Ivan begged to tell what happened next with Jeshua and Pontius Pilate. The master replied that his friend from the Patriarchs would have done so much better, and, referring to the fact that he had to leave, left Ivan’s room.
Finitektor Varyete Rimsky ran to his office, not waiting for the end of the show – could not stand the nerves. He sat at the table and looked at the magical chervontses with inflamed eyes. The public fell from the view with a shaft. Suddenly a militia whistle was heard outside the windows. Grigory Danilovich looked out the window. Under the lantern was a lady in one underwear, the man next to her was in a hurry to take off her coat, in order to cover up her companion. Near the lady the people gathered. Roman recoiled from the window. He knew that nothing good would end. The police whistles were heard more and more often and in very different places. And, surprisingly, the scandals subsided as quickly as they began. Roman was going to immediately call somewhere, to justify himself, to bring down everything on the disappeared Stepu. Suddenly a phone rang, and a quiet insinuating voice in the tube advised him not to call anywhere, or else it would be worse. Roman became frightened.
Suddenly the administrator of Varenukha appeared in the office. The very appearance of it was accompanied by strange details, but Rimsky had no time to pay attention to it. Varenukha began to tell in detail the latest news regarding the missing Likhodeev, but the further he spoke, the clearer Rimsky understood that the administrator was lying. After examining Varenukha more attentively, Rimsky understood that he had changed beyond recognition. The voice became deaf. As he talked Varenukha kept covering himself with the newspaper all the time. A huge bruise was visible under the eye, and the neck was covered with a muffler. The most terrible thing was that Varenukha did not cast shadows, the two shadows behind his chair were strangers.
Realizing that Rimsky noticed all this, Varenukha jumped in his chair and deftly snapped the lock. Rome’s attempt to call the attendant ended in failure – the bell button was silent. Outside the window a disgusting girl appeared, covered with cadaverous stains, and began to climb into the window. It was impossible to convey the fear of Rome, although he was brave. But then, luckily the financial director, the cock crowed, and after the third cry, the impure force disappeared.
A completely gray-haired man, as Roman became, rushed to the station, got on the express train, and no one else saw this man.
Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy, chairman of the housing association, the same one who found four hundred dollars in the ventilation, also turned out to be a patient of Dr. Stravinsky. But before going to the hospital, he visited an official institution where he was tried to question him about the appearance of the currency. Nikanor Ivanovich referred to the evil spirit living in apartment number 50, and the translator, Koroviev, whom he called the devil. Visiting the apartment did not give anything – it was absolutely empty, with intact seals on the doors.
Seeing that Bosoy was insane, he was sent to the clinic. Strange dream Nikanor Ivanovich dreamed – as if he was at a performance in the theater, and on this view from the stage are urged to take the currency. Spectators do this – who is under pressure, and who voluntarily. The sleep was interrupted by the paramedic’s mother Praskovia Feodorovna, who awakened Nikanor Ivanovich, who was groaning. The injection calmed the patient, but when he heard his cries and groans, the sick in the neighboring wards were worried. Dr. Stravinsky reassured everyone, the patients began to fall asleep. One of the last fell asleep Homeless, he heard the singing of birds in the grove. In a dream Ivan saw that the sun was already falling over the Bald Mountain, and this mountain was girded with a double cordon…
When Levi Matvey ran to Bald Mountain, he realized that he was late, as the ring of cordon near the mountain was already closed. Levi Matvey tried to break through the system, motivating it with a desire to better consider the execution, but was hit with a spear and had to withdraw. He was worried that a couple of days ago Yeshua left one because of an attack of a sudden illness, and now a misfortune has happened. The only way to save Yeshua from suffering was for the former tax collector an attempt to break through to the convict, to thrust a sharp knife between his blades and, if lucky enough, die right there. But there was no knife in Levi Matvey’s, while he was looking for where to buy it, the execution had already taken place. Four hours stood Levi Matvey in the scorching sun, calling for death and cursing God. But his entreaties were not heard.
And suddenly the unfortunate saw that a terrible storm was approaching from the sea. Levi Matvey thought he was hurrying with his curses, and wondering if this thunderstorm would bring change in Yeshua’s fate, praying to God about one thing – that lightning struck the pillar on which Yeshua was executed and delivered him from the pain. Looking at the mountain for the last time, he saw that the soldiers were leaving the hill, finishing off the spears with their punches.
The storm was approaching so rapidly that the raging streams of water were catching up with the quickly departing soldiers.
Levi Matvey, tearing himself off the ledges and risking being washed away with water, reached the pillar on which Jeshua’s body was hanging, and, having thrown off completely soaked upper garments and remained in one shirt, fell at his feet. Then he cut the ropes on the body of the executed man. The bare body of Yeshua fell upon Levi. He was visited by a thought, and he for a moment left his body, cutting the ropes on two other hanged people. Their bodies swirled swiftly with water. In a minute neither Levi Matvey nor the body of Yeshua was on the hill.
The next morning, events related to the Variety Theater continued. Here and there in Moscow scandals associated with the appearance of ladies in one underwear were rolled. The stories about yesterday’s session of black magic spread swiftly. A huge queue of people wishing to get on a new show was in the cash register. In the morning everyone was looking for the administration in the person of Likhodeev, Rimsky and Varenukha, but they disappeared without a trace. The investigation came with the famous dog Tuzbuben. Everyone was impressed by the behavior of the dog. In the office of the financial director, in which in the morning the cleaning lady found burning lamps and a broken window, the dog lay down on his belly, crawled to the window and roared. Then he climbed the window and began to throw from him. The dog was led through the front door, he drove the taxi that followed him to the parking lot, and soon the trail was lost. The dog was taken away. No clues to the investigation could be found – neither posters,
For the elder remained accountant Vasily Stepanovich Lastochkin. He had two things to do: report to the Commission on Spectacles about yesterday’s presentation and hand over to the finisher the cash office collected yesterday.
In the commission on shows in the chairman’s office sat a suit, spoke and signed orders. The very chairman of Prokhor Petrovich was not there. The mournful secretary told Vasily Stepanovich that a cat of huge sizes was first rushing into the chairman’s office, she drove him away. Instead of a cat appeared a brazen fat man with a cat’s face and without a report he went in to Prokhor Petrovich. The chairman shouted: “Take him out so that the devils take me!” The fat man laughed and fulfilled the chairman’s wish. And at the table instead of a man sat a suit.
The shaky accountant, seeing that the investigation had arrived, left the Commission building, but, since he was a neat man, decided to call in to report to the branch. In the branch of the commission he was expected by a no less strange picture – contrary to his will, the whole staff sang, clearly and harmoniously, despite the fact that the employees were in different offices. And the police came to this building. Soon all the employees were loaded onto trucks and went to the clinic of Professor Stravinsky.
The accountant came to the financial department to take out the cashier. He did not take the money right away. When he filled a well-known form and unfolded a bundle of money, he froze, because instead of chervontsi it was the currency of various foreign states. Vasily Stepanovich was arrested, saying that this is one of the “geeks” of the Variety.
Approximately at the same time, Maximilian Andreevich Poplavsky, Uncle Mikhail Alexandrovich Berlioz, arrived in Moscow. The reason for his appearance in the capital was the telegram he received, which read: “I just got stabbed by a tram at the Patriarch’s.” The funeral is Friday, three o’clock in the afternoon. “Come, Berlioz.”
Maximilian Andreevich, as usual, wept for his nephew, regretting what had happened, and he took the word “me” for a postal typo. There was another reason why he rushed to the capital. He had long dreamed of moving from Kiev to Belokamennaya, and the vacated apartment of Berlioz was very welcome.
Once in Moscow, he went to the chairman of the housing association, but on the board he could not say anything intelligible. He went to apartment number 50.
The door was opened to him by a girl dressed only in a white apron, but she behaved as if she were dressed according to all the rules. Arrived met Koroviev and began to sob loudly, mourning the death of Mikhail Alexandrovich. Poplavsky, of course, also upset, and he furtively watched the checkered, wondering whether this type was registered in Misha’s apartment. Maximilian Andreevich inquired whether the type had given a telegram to Kiev. It turned out that no, it made a huge cat, which confirmed it.
Poplavsky’s arms and legs were cut off. The cat demanded his uncle’s passport, checked the number of the department and said that in this department they issue passports to anyone. The cat canceled the presence of his uncle at the funeral of his nephew and called Azazello to conduct the visitor. Azazello literally threw Maximilian Andreevich on the stairs, whispering in his ear that he did not dare to think about the Moscow apartment. He, being on the stairs, met a small bald man who asked how he could get to apartment number 50. Having decided once again to check the accursed apartment, Maximilian Andreevich, having free time before departure of the Kiev train, remained to wait, without knowing what. After a while, this man with a scraped bald head was flying about in the same direction as Poplavsky. Maximilian Andreevich ran out into the courtyard and got into the trolleybus, which took him to the Kiev railway station.
And the man who went to apartment number 50 after Poplavsky was the bartender Variety Andrey Fokich Sokov. He found out where the guest was staying, and appeared with complaints. He was led to the actor. Andrei Fokich said that yesterday, during the performance, the visitors of the buffet paid money there, pouring from everywhere in the auditorium. Soon these chervontsi turned into a cut paper, as a result of which the buffet “suffered” by one hundred and nine rubles. The barmaid was reassured, offering to look again at the chervontsi. Unfolding the bundle, Sokov saw that they were real. But after that, Andrei Fokich was completely destroyed by the fact that the inhabitants of the apartment knew that in different branches of the Savings Bank he kept more than two hundred thousand rubles. The most terrible was the message that in nine months Adrey Fokich would die of liver cancer.
Andrei Fokich left the apartment and went, like a drunk. On the stairs, he remembered that he had left his hat, which he felt sorry for. He returned for the headdress, and the girl gave him a hat and a sword. At the same time I was very surprised to learn that he came without a sword. The hat on closer inspection was a beret. Andrei Fokich crossed himself, his hat turned into a kitten, who clung to his bald head. The barman rushed down the stairs and forever left the accursed house. He learned that one of the best specialists in the liver is Professor Kuzmin, and with his bandaged head came to him for an appointment, begging to stop the cancer.
The professor did not find any signs of cancer, prescribed tests for a strange patient, prescribed a diet and sent to the famous neuropathologist Professor Bure, as the nerves of Citizen Sokov were completely upset.
The professor himself was a victim of strange events. In his office, there was a black kitten on the desktop, then the sparrow behaved in a strange way. In the evening of the same day, the professor, all hung with leeches, was sitting in the bedroom, and that same famous neuropathologist Bure reassured him.
When the Master told Ivan about his beloved and his hope that she had forgotten him, he was wrong. Margarita Nikolaevna did not forget him.
In the life of this woman there was everything, but there was no love and happiness. At nineteen she married a man who made an excellent career. She and her husband occupied a huge apartment. Margarita’s husband adored his wife, and she did not need anything, was not burdened with household concerns. Unfortunately, she did not have any children.
Was she happy? Not a single minute since she got married and got into the mansion. And only when she met the Master did she realize that she had been waiting for him all her life. What a horror this woman should have felt, who, having not had time to talk with her husband in the evening, returned to the Master’s room and did not find her beloved!
She was brought to utter despair and in such torments she lived all winter. Spring has come. In Moscow there was a commotion connected with the appearance of a black magician and his tour. One day, Margarita woke up with a firm conviction that something would happen to her. The fact is that she had a dream. She saw a Master who had not dreamed of her for a long time, and he beckoned to her.
My husband went on a business trip for three days, and for this time Margarita got full freedom of action. She surrendered to memories, taking from a secluded corner things that reminded her of the Master.
Her housekeeper, the beautiful Natasha, began to entertain her with a story about the ladies who appeared in the same underwear in different parts of Moscow. Margarita, not believing this gossip, laughed at them with Natasha and went for a walk.
In the tram she accidentally heard a strange conversation that some dead man was stolen from the coffin, and in connection with this, problems with cremation are expected.
Margarita was tired of hearing all this, and she was glad that it was time for her to leave. She went to the Alexander Garden and sat on the same bench on which she was sitting with the Master. Everything was as it was then, only it was not. The premonition that something would happen to her today was intensifying.
She saw a funeral procession, but people’s faces were not mournful. They all expressed surprise, not sorrow. She wanted to know who it was burying with such amazing faces. A man’s voice over his ear answered that Mikhail Alexandrovich Berlioz, chairman of Massolit. She must have said it aloud in absentmindedness. An unknown citizen explained the reason for the surprise – the dead man was being taken, but where his head went, do not know.
Margarita asked what kind of head, and turned to the speaker. He was fiery-red, with a fang, beautifully dressed, but what is most interesting – a gnawed chicken stick stood in place of a ball-point pen.
From the story of the redhead Margarita realized that behind the coffin are the writers who bury their chairman, and bared. She asked the interlocutor, who is a critic of Latunsky. The redhead noticed that she hated criticism.
Margarita’s neighbor said that he was sent to her on business. At the same time he named a woman by name. Margarita remarked dryly that they were unfamiliar. The redhead gave the invitation to be a guest of one foreigner. Margarita rejected him. And she began to continue the conversation only after the fanged person began to quote the Master’s novel.
A little calmed down, Margarita tried to find out from her new friend, does he know something about the Master? Yes, the Master is alive, confirmed Azazello, and where he invites her, she will be able to learn about him. Margarita answered that she was going anywhere.
Azazello sighed with relief and handed Margarita a round gold box, which he ordered immediately to hide from the curious eyes of passers-by. Then he gave detailed instructions on how to use the cream contained in it. Tonight, exactly at half-past nine, Margarita had to undress naked, rub this cream from head to foot. At ten, Azazello will call her and tell him everything that is needed. Margarita will be brought to the right place, without causing her the slightest harm and anxiety.
The mysterious interlocutor disappeared. Margarita thrust the box into her pocket.
At half past nine, having coped with the excitement, Margarita opened the box and began to rub the cream lightly. After doing some rubbing, she looked in the mirror and laughed. In the mirror, a prettified, twenty-year-old woman looked at her, laughing uncontrollably and clenching her teeth. Margarita smeared the whole body and felt extraordinary strength and lightness in all movements. Her body lost weight. The cream changed it not only externally. She felt joy in every part of the body and realized that she was free from everything. She left her husband a farewell note. With a light heart, she flew into the bedroom. Then Natasha came in with things and, seeing Margarita in this form, dropped all the things on the floor, throwing her hands up. Natasha was in awe of the young housewife.
Margarita gave her all her outfits. Hearing the noise of the car, she realized that the neighbor from below, Nikolai Ivanovich, had come, and decided to laugh at him. Sitting on the windowsill, she started a conversation with him. Nikolai Ivanovich was completely dumbfounded and could not utter a word.
The telephone rang, and Margarita rushed to him. It was Azazello, who said that it was time to fly out, and gave the last instructions. A brush flew up, Margarita jumped to her with delight, jumped some blue shirt and flew out of the windows of the second floor. Blinded and stunned, Nikolai Ivanovich crashed into the bricks of the path. Margarita screamed, following Azazello’s instructions, that she was invisible, and flew out into the alley. She was followed by a completely withered waltz.
Margarita flew on her brush at night Moscow. She was invisible, and no one pointed her finger. She was overwhelmed with new impressions. She had to learn to control the brush and her body, dive under the wires and avoid lanterns and road signs so as not to break. Out of curiosity, she looked into the open window of one Arbat cuisine and surprised the quarreling neighbors, getting in the conversation and extinguishing the two stewards of the Primus. At the end of the street, her attention was attracted by a huge luxurious house, apparently just built. The house was well finished and had its own doorman. Margarita flew closer and saw the inscription on the house: “House of Dramlit,” that is, the house of a playwright and a writer, as indicated on the plate with the list of tenants. This inscription made Margarita emit a predatory cry. She began to read the names, and suddenly she saw the name “
Under the lucky star was born a critic, and this star saved him from a meeting with the enraged Margarita. At this time he was at a mourning meeting in MASSOLIT. No one answered the phone at the door, and Margarita, having calculated the windows of the apartment of Latunsky, flew into one of them. Having cleaned the switch, she appeared on the stairs and was convinced that she had got into the apartment she needed. They say that Latunsky is still turning pale, remembering that evening.
Margaret arranged in his apartment a real pogrom, leaving no one thing. Everything was crushed, broken and, in addition, flooded with water. Water through the floors in the apartment of Latunsky flooded the lower floors. Then Margarita, deciding that there was nothing to sit around, broke the windows in the apartment of the critic on the eighth floor, passed to the windows of the seventh floor. Neither the doorman nor the inmates of the house could understand why the windows in the house of the Dramlit were broken for no reason.
Suddenly, the wild pogrom stopped. In the window of the third floor in his crib was a boy of about four years old and listened terribly. Adults in the apartment was not, obviously, all ran out. The boy was afraid and called his mother. Margarita, as she could, reassured him. The Kid asked why he did not see his aunt. She replied that the boy sees her in a dream. She told a fairy tale about the unhappy aunt who had everything in the world, but there were no children and no happiness. This aunt cried for a long time, and then she became a witch. Margarita fell silent when she saw that the boy was sleeping.
Further Margarita was no longer interested. She turned her brush away from the city and came to the conclusion that she was in such a hurry to rush off, depriving herself of the pleasure of flying. After that, I flew over the train and lake and heard that someone was catching up with her. It turned out that this is her housekeeper Natasha flies next to her riding a hog. After a good look, she recognized Nikolai Ivanovich in the furrow and laughed loudly. It turned out that Natasha also took advantage of the cream, and also smeared Nikolai Ivanovich. Natasha asked Margarita to obtain permission for her to remain a witch, since she would never return home. Margarita promised to help.
She flew to the river, near which she was given the most respectful reception. Music was honored in her honor, and the mermaids chanted dances. The witches lined up to bow, and some kind of goat-legged man fell to the queen’s hand and inquired if she had reached the well. Then he gave her a glass of champagne, from which she immediately felt warm. The same goat-legged asked what the queen had come upon. Learning what was on the brush, he said it was uncomfortable. He built a telephone out of two branches and asked to send a car, which was immediately carried out. The car was the most ordinary, but instead of the driver sat a long-nosed rook. Margarita asked where Natasha was. She was told that she flew to Moscow to report the arrival of the queen and help prepare the outfit.
The car jumped, raised to the moon itself, and Margarita rushed to Moscow.
The driver-rook landed Margarita in one of the deserted cemeteries in the vicinity of Dorogomilov. There she was met by Azazello, who led Margarita to the place where she was expected today. He jumped on a rapier, she – on his brush, and, unbeknownst to anyone, they landed near the ill-fated house with no less ill-fated apartment No. 50. Passing the gate, they saw a man standing in it, obviously waiting for someone. The second exactly the same person was standing at the door of the entrance, the third, an exact copy of both, was sitting on the staircase of the third floor.
Azazello and Margarita went to the door of apartment number 50. They did not ring, Azazello had a key.
The first thing that surprised Margarita at the door of the apartment was complete darkness. But soon Koroviev approached her with a lamp, dressed in a black fancy pair, and explained that Messire does not like electric light. Illumination will be given at the last moment, and let the queen not be frightened, light will be more than enough. They began to climb a large wide staircase and soon found themselves on the platform of a huge ballroom. Margarita was surprised by the size of the room, which she managed to accommodate in an ordinary Moscow apartment, and told Fagot about this. He said that the whole thing is in the fifth dimension.
Further, Koroviev explained the reasons for the appearance of Margarita in this room. He asked the woman if she understood who was their master. Margarita answered in the affirmative. Koroviev got down to business. He explained that every year sir gives one ball, called a ball of one hundred kings, or a spring ball of a full moon. Messire, as Margarita herself understands, is single, so the mistress is needed. According to the existing tradition, she must bear the name of Margarita. One hundred and twenty-one Margarita they found in the capital, and only one of them – Margarita Nikolayevna – is ideal for this role. Does she agree to take on the duties of the hostess of the ball? Margarita answered in the affirmative. Koroviev in a few words told who will be at the master’s ball today – these are people who once held power. But their capabilities even during life were negligible in comparison with the possibilities of that, in whose retinue Koroviev has the honor to be. At the same time he added that Margarita herself is a person of royal blood. Margarita frightenedly asked why.
It turns out that one of the French queens, who lived in the sixteenth century, would be very surprised if she found out that her charming great-great-granddaughter will be led by the representative of the host’s suite after several centuries. But now Fagot cut off his speech and put out the candle. They went into a small room. There was a bed with an unmade bed. Azazello also was in a dress coat and bowed to Margarita. Gella cooked something in a saucepan, from which rose sulfur vapor. She also bowed to Margarita. Still in the room was a huge kitten, holding a chess piece in his hands.
All the attention of Margarita was riveted to the owner. He sat on the bed and bored her eyes. Right, drilling to the bottom of the soul, and the left, like a way out into a bottomless well. Woland studied the look of Margarita and was pleased. He noted that Margarita is smart – blood is affected. She was introduced to Abadon, the demon of war.
Woland was informed that there were two strangers at the ball: a beauty who asks to be left, and hogs. The beautiful Natasha was left by the order of Woland when she was mistress, and the boar, that is, Nikolai Ivanovich, was sent to the kitchen for the time of the ball to the cooks.
Marguerite began to prepare for the ball, as it was approaching midnight. She was first coated with blood, and then with rose oil, shredded to a shine with some green leaves. She had pink petal shoes on her legs, a golden crown on her head, and a heavy medallion with a picture of a black poodle on her neck. Koroviev gave the last instructions. He asked to give all guests at least a little attention and in any case not to express displeasure on their face, even if someone does not like it. If the hostess of the ball loves every guest, then she will be rewarded with a hundredfold.
Exactly ten seconds later, it was midnight, and the first guests began to appear from the huge fireplace.
Criminals of all ranks and suits – counterfeiters, poisoners, murderers, kings and queens, alchemists, hangers, other evil spirits – arrived at the great ball of Satan. Among others Margarita remembered a girl named Frida, who had once strangled her baby’s handkerchief. And now thirty years have passed, and every day she continues to serve this handkerchief in the morning. She already burned it, and drowned it – nothing helps. Frida always tried to get in the eyes of the queen and give her name.
In the meantime, guests all arrived. Naked women were raised between the men of honor. Arriving as greetings were applied to the tribe of Margarita and after that they kissed her hand. She felt that her knee was unbearably painful, and her hand felt pudgy. Koroviev asked her to wait a little longer, and, indeed, the flow of visitors soon began to thin out.
Sick of Margarita’s pain, Natasha and Gella were stretched, taken to a bloody shower, and Margarita revived.
Koroviev asked her to fly around all the halls so that the guests would not feel abandoned. Margarita tried to give every guest a little attention.
When she entered the third room, she saw Woland. He, to the surprise of Margarita, did not take advantage of the elevations prepared for him, but went out to the guests in the same dirty patched shirt in which he appeared before Margarita. Next to Woland was Azazello, he was carrying a dish. On closer inspection, the cut off head of a man with broken teeth and eyes full of suffering was on this dish. Woland addressed Berlioz’s head by his name and patronymic and said that during his lifetime the deceased had always been an ardent supporter of the theory that after cutting off the head life in man ceases and it goes into oblivion. Therefore, everyone is rewarded according to his faith. Thus, Berlioz goes into oblivion in the presence of all participants of this ball, although they all serve as a confirmation of the opposite. And from the skull appeared bowl, from which Woland was glad to drink for being.
Another one arrived, the last guest. Woland was expecting him. The guest was no different from the other invited men, if not for one circumstance: he was literally shaken with excitement. The arriving was dumbfounded by everyone, especially Woland’s attire. But the guest was greeted kindly.
Margarita recognized Baron Maigel. This man served as an official group of foreigners with the sights of the capital. Margarita thought that the baron must have died. But soon everything was clarified. Woland announced to the crowd that after his arrival in Moscow, the baron offered him his services and, being an earpiece and a spy, asked for this ball with one purpose – to spy on and overhear everything that is possible. There is an assumption that the baron is waiting for a sad end no more than a month. Woland decided to do without this agonizing expectation. Abadonna removed his glasses, something flashed in Azazello’s hands, a scarlet stream of blood spurted from the baron’s chest. Koroviev set the bowl, which came from Berlioz’s skull, under this jet, and filled it to the brim. Then he handed the cup to Woland, who announced that he was drinking for the health of all those present, and touched her lips. Woland ordered Margarita to drink from this bowl. Margarita swung, but the voices that whispered in both ears, that she had nothing to fear, were advised not to be afraid.
Margarita took a sip, and her ears began to ring. The smell and smell of the crypt enveloped the hall, and soon everything disappeared. Margarita again found herself in the modest living room of a jeweler, and a strip of light fell from the slightly opened door. Margarita entered this door.
After the ball, Margarita at the company of Woland and his retinue is having supper. Everyone exchanges impressions of what he has seen. About six in the morning Margarita shyly asked permission to leave, although she had nowhere to go. No one held her, and the queen felt betrayed – no one was going to reward her for the suffering she had suffered at the ball. The inner voice advised me to ask, as Azazello suggested in the Alexander Garden, but Margarita answered herself that she would never do it. She decided to get out of here and drown.
Woland ordered her to sit down and asked if she wanted to say something to him for goodbye. She replied that it was nothing, but if Messer again needs her services, she is ready to provide them. Woland, and behind him and the whole retinue shouted that this is exactly how you should behave. Never need to ask anything, especially those who are stronger. Everyone will be offered and given. So, what does Margarita want for having spent today’s ball nude, in what does she value her knee? Woland told me to speak boldly, because he suggested it himself.
Margarita caught her breath, and the wildest fantasies played out, but Frida’s face appeared before her. She asked Woland to stop giving the handkerchief with which she strangled her child. Woland told Margarita to do it herself. Margarita called Frida and said that she was forgiven – no handkerchief will be given.
She uttered her cherished desire to see the Master. And at that very moment the Master appeared in his hospital attire on the floor. Margarita, he dismissed, taking her for hallucinations, and in excitement would have fallen to the floor, if Koroviev deftly did not put the sick chair.
Woland frowned, remarking that the Masters had done a good job, and offered him a glass of wine. The Master’s eyes became meaningful only after the second glass, and he talked with Woland, telling him his story. Voland learned that the novel written by the Master was about Pontius Pilate, and laughed. Then he returned the burnt manuscript to the Master safely and securely.
Woland again tried to find out from Marguerite what she wanted. She whispered with the Master, asked them to return them to their basement, and that everything was as before. The master resisted this, saying that another person is already living there, and he himself has no right to admit the death of Margarita. And in general, according to the poor patient, there is no way that everything was as before.
Woland agreed with this, but decided to try, and after his words from the ceiling collapsed Aloysius Mogarych. Azazello asked him if it was true that he had written a denunciation of the Master about keeping illegal literature to him, since Mogarych himself wanted to move to the vacant rooms of the Master. The incoherent babble of Aloysius served as a confirmation of his deed. Mogarych was ordered to get out, after which he flew upstairs from Woland’s bedroom into the open window. The Master was amazed, saying that it was cleaner than what Homeless had told him. The house book with the Mogarych prescribed in it and the history of the Master’s illness was destroyed. He and Margarita were returned documents.
Left alone with the Master and Margarita, Woland once again received confirmation that they both wanted to be in their Arbat cellar, gave Margarita a farewell to a small gold horseshoe, strewn with diamonds, and said goodbye.
An hour later the windows burned in the cellar, and everything was as it was then, until a terrible disaster fell on the lovers. Master slept soundly, covered with a hospital gown, and Margarita quietly cried with happiness, fearing that sorcery would end, and sorted through the pages of the manuscript, reading out individual passages and lines from the novel.
A terrible storm broke over Yershalaim. Under the columns of the palace of Herod the Great was a single person – procurator Pontius Pilate. During the hurricane, he poured himself a wine, drank, crumbled bread, sucked oysters and chewed a lemon. Then he drank again, without resorting to the services of a slave who had taken refuge not far from the Procurator’s anger for breaking the pitcher. It seemed that Pontius Pilate was waiting for someone.
Indeed, soon after the end of the thunderstorm, the prosecutor appeared before a thread-drenched guest. A little time was spent on dressing, and a few minutes later Pilate and his guest ate meat, fruits and oysters, washing it all down with great wine. Pontius Pilate questioned the interlocutor about the execution, about the behavior of Varvavan, who stopped robbing, because he became famous, and about the mood of the townspeople. The cavalry ala left the city, and the Lightning fast cohort will leave. The night visitor advised the prosecutor that the cohort pass by the city in good-bye. Pontius Pilate told the visitor that the enormous merits of that in the post of head of the secret service under the Procurator of Judea are enormous, and the procurator himself will report it in Rome.
The conversation turned to Judah from Kiriath. The procurator told Afranius about the latest information received – tonight Judas will be killed after he receives a reward from the high priest of Kaifa for betraying Ha-Nozri. Afraniy expressed doubt about the reliability of the information, but the procurator remained adamant – it really will happen. The head of the secret service was ordered to take all measures to protect Judah from Kiriath.
The procurator remembered his old duty – at the entrance to Ershalaim, Pontius Pilate had no money for beggars to charity, and he took them from Afranius. Now he returns this debt, despite his objections, and awaits a report on the burial of the executed and on the case of Judah.
Afranius retired. The procurator saw that the sun was gone, and twilight came.
The procurator and his faithful dog Bang, who loved each other, met a festive night on the balcony. Afranius gave orders to the secret guard about the funeral of executed criminals, and himself, changing clothes, went to the mule outside the city. In a small Greek street he quickly found the house he needed, called a woman named Niza. Nisa, quickly gathered, without resorting to the help of a servant, went out of town. In the market square, she overtook the handsome Judas, dressed up for a great holiday and hurrying to the palace of Kaifa. He not only recognized her, but seemed to be amazed. Then he asked where she was going, and reminded them that they were going to meet tonight. Nisa replied that she decided to go out of town, because she was bored, and her husband left. Judas, so be it, if she is not bored with him, she will allow her to accompany. Only in the city they will not go together, but she appointed him a meeting place – in the oil estate, in the grotto. After this, forbidding Judas to follow her, Niza left.
Thoughts of Judas mixed up, he had nothing to do with anything, and his feet carried him to the appointed place. When he reached the grotto, he called the woman. Instead, two men’s stocky figures appeared in the light of the moon. One man was with a knife. He asked Judas how much money he had received. The hope of salvation broke out in the heart of Judas, he replied that he had received thirty tetradrachms, which he would give. In response, the knife, like lightning, struck the lover under the shoulder blade, and his body fell to the ground.
The third figure appeared on the road. It was a man in a cloak with a hood. He ordered the murderers not to hesitate, and they took the purse of a murdered man and the note given by a third person, packed it all in the skin and bandaged it with a rope. It is not known where the two murderers were gone, but the way of the third person is known. When he was dressed in military attire, he drove up to the palace of Herod the Great.
The part occupied by the procurator, as if blinded by the veil of a festive night. Pontius Pilate ordered to make his bed on the balcony, where he conducted the interrogation in the morning. Sleep took pity on the procurator. In a dream Pontius Pilate saw that he was walking along an unusually transparent lunar road with his dog, and next to him was a living boy philosopher. They walked side by side and argued about something important. The procurator even laughed in his sleep – how wonderful everything is, because there was no execution.
He woke up from the report of Mark Krysoboy. Afranius came to the procurator. The awakening was terrible – Pilate remembered that the execution was still there.
He listened to Afraniya’s report that Judas was killed, while the head of the secret service is busy searching for criminals. Thirty tetradrachms with the inscription “I return the damned money” are thrown by unknown persons to the palace of Kaifa.
As for the burial, the team that did this found only two bodies near the pillars. The body of the third offender, Ga-Nozri, tried to bury Levi Matvey. Afranius allowed him to participate in the burial. The Procurator thanked the head of the secret police for the work done, generously rewarded him and remained alone with Levi Matvey, who was brought to the palace.
Pontius Pilate made him an offer to work in the palace as a librarian. Levi Matvey refused, saying that the procurator would be afraid of him after he had killed Yeshua. And then he added that the rest of his life would be devoted to killing Judas. Learning that Judah was killed and the murder of the Procurator himself, he began to soften a little, asked for a piece of pure parchment and was released from the palace.
On the balcony under the moon, laying his hand under his cheek, silent sounded the fifth procurator of Judea Pontius Pilate.
Margarita read the novel with the first rays of the sun and only then did she feel how her body was broken and she wants to sleep. An amazing thing – her soul was in perfect order, and it did not bother her that she spent the night at a ball at Satan’s. She was convinced that the Master was fast asleep, lay down on the next sofa and fell asleep herself, and she had not seen any dreams. Together with her, slept all the small house in the remote Arbat Lane.
But the whole floor of one serious Moscow institution did not sleep that morning, but was occupied with the investigation in the Woland case. The consequence was due to the whole abundance of contradictory events with an admixture of devilry and criminality to blind a single whole. More than once the investigators had to visit the ill-fated apartment No. 50, but they did not find anyone there. Participants were found strange events in the face of the missing Likhodeev, who flew from Yalta in a completely strange form and insane condition, found both Varenukha and Rimsky. All of them demanded that they be placed in an armored cell and attached to them by armed guards. An investigator visited the poetess Bezdomny in the hospital. And what was the cost of Berlioz’s head missing from the coffin!
The most interesting thing was that the magician Woland, according to the documents, never existed, did not show his papers to anyone, did not sign or sign contracts or contracts. Compared with all this, the appearance on the street of women in one underwear and counterfeit chervonets was not a remarkable thing. Patients of Dr. Stravinsky were significantly worse.
The office received a call, according to which apartment number 50 came to life again, in it, according to the caller, someone was. A group of men, armed not only with firearms, but also with an excellent network and masks with chloroform, tried to arrest the inhabitants of the cursed apartment. Entering it, they saw a cat of enormous size, who got up the most incredible things – he drank petrol from the Primus stove, jumped from the chandelier, fired a revolver. It was completely impossible to catch him with a net. Surprised everyone that the shooting did not cause anybody absolutely no harm.
At a time when armed people were trying to grab a cat, a voice rang out in the apartment, asking why they were interfering with it. Another voice answered that it was Saturday, and it’s time for them.
In an instant the apartment was in flames, people barely managed to jump out of it and call firemen on the phone. Residents of the house saw three dark, seemingly men’s silhouettes and one silhouette of a naked woman fleeing from the window of a flaming apartment.
And Behemoth and Koroviev, meanwhile, visited one of the best shops in Moscow, which traded in foreign currency. And there they committed riots that ended in a fire. Then they went to the restaurant Griboyedov, where they were kindly received by Archibald Archibaldovich, who immediately guessed who his visitors were. Attempts to arrest the cat and Fagot in the restaurant also ended in a fire.
At sunset on the roof of one of the most beautiful buildings in Moscow were Woland and Azazello. They simultaneously admired Moscow and said goodbye to her.
Woland visited Levi Matvey. He conveyed the request of his teacher, who read the Master’s composition. The teacher asked Woland, the representative of darkness, to take the Master and Margarita with him and reward them with peace. When asked by Woland why they did not take the Master and Margarita to their place, Levi Matvey replied that they did not deserve the light. They deserved peace.
Woland asked to convey what would be done, and ordered Levi Matvey immediately to leave.
Koroviev and Behemoth appeared with a story about their last adventures. Woland, after listening to them, summarized that they had fulfilled all his orders and requests. More in their services, he does not need.
The last terrible storm was approaching the city and covered the whole city. Woland stopped being seen in her mist.
Master with his lover, waking up in the basement, once again sort out all that has happened to them in memory. The master asks Margarita to return to her mansion, because she does not know how and how they will live. She answers him that for him he was shaking all night at the ball at Satan’s. They come to the conclusion that we must seek salvation from the otherworldly forces, since it happened so.
In the cellar Azazello appears quite unexpectedly. The master is an observant person, he sees that a demon of evil is sent to them with some assignment. And indeed, Azazello conveyed the request of sir. The master asks the Master and Margarita to take a short walk with him. Lovers gladly agree. Azazello gave and the gift of his master – a bottle of Falern wine, the same one that the procurator of Judea drank.
All three drank to Woland’s health. And for the Master, and for Margarita this wine was fatal. They were both poisoned. Azazello found himself in the mansion of Margarita in an instant and saw a gloomy, waiting woman fall down on the floor, clutching her heart.
After that, Azazello returned to the basement and revived both lovers. Master, waking up, realized that they were dead. Azazello objected, saying that, in order to be alive, it is not necessary to sit in hospital underpants and compose a novel in the basement.
Margarita praised the great Woland, who invented everything much better than it could have been in real life. The basement broke out, and the whole past life of the Master and Margarita burned down. All three sat on the horses waiting for them and rushed over the roofs of the city. Master and Margarita flew to the hospital to say goodbye to Ivan – the Master no longer had anybody to say goodbye to.
The master met with Bezdomny, explained to him that he would not write more about him. It will be occupied by another. Margarita said good-bye to Ivan.
After their departure Ivan realized with sadness that his former neighbor in the ward was dead, and received confirmation from the nurse. He also realized that another person had died in the city – this is a woman.
The storm ended without a trace. Woland with his entourage and the Master with Margarita forever say goodbye to the city. The soul of the Master is overcome by conflicting feelings – from aching sadness to proud indifference and premonition of absolute peace. All bills are paid. Farewell is over. The city went to the ground and left only a fog.
Magic horses slowly carried their riders, whose appearance changed beyond recognition. In the place of Koroviev-Fagot, in the tattered garb of Vorobyovy Gory who left the mountain and was an interpreter under the mysterious adviser, a dark purple knight jumped with a grim, never smiling face. Margarita asked Woland why Bugot had changed so much. It turned out that once this knight had composed an unfortunate pun on light and darkness, as a result of which he had to play a little longer than he imagined. But today, according to Woland, there was such a night when all scores are reduced and everything is forgiven.
The one who was the Cat Behemoth turned out to be a thin boy, a demon-page, the best buffoon that ever existed in the world. Azazello, the demon of an arid desert, flew into his present form, a demon-killer. The Master has also changed. Margarita saw how his gray fluffy hair gathered behind him in a scythe that was running down the wind. The wind and the cloak were swept away, making the spurs on the boots. Woland, too, flew in his present guise.
So they flew long enough and stopped only when the terrain began to change. Woland laid siege to the stony, dreary flat top. On the upper landing of this peak in the chair sat a man, apparently too immersed in meditation and therefore not hearing anything around, no less than the riders who had arrived. Margarita saw by the light of the moon, that next to the seat sits a huge vozstuhaha dog and lies a broken jug of wine.
The horsemen stopped their horses, and Woland, addressing the Master, said that he was the hero of his novel. He added that the novel was read. The only remark – the novel is not finished, according to the reader. Woland pointed to the Master sitting in the chair of the man and said that he really wanted to show the author of the hero of his work. For two thousand years this person is sitting in an armchair on this platform and is asleep, but when the full moon comes he falls into anxiety and sees the moonlit road. She wants to go along with her and talk with the convict Ga-Nozri, because, as he thinks, he did not finish something on the fourteenth day of the spring month of Nisan. But, alas, he can not get out onto the road, and no one comes to him. And the person is forced to talk to himself. Most of all he hates his immortality and would willingly change his fate with Levi Matvey.
Margarita asked to release the unhappy. Woland replied that this was already asked of the one with whom Pilate was so eager to talk. Then he turned to the master and said that he could end his novel with one phrase.
The master seemed to be waiting for this, folded his hands in a horn and shouted so that the mountains shook. He shouted that from now on Pontius Pilate is free, and he is expected. The mountains collapsed, a huge millennial city appeared with a lush garden, and a moonlit road appeared. A man in a white cloak with a bloody scuffle, shouting something, quickly rushed after his faithful dog on this unusual road.
The master asked Woland where he should go. Woland asked to leave Yeshua and Pilate alone – maybe they will agree to something.
Woland told the Master and his girlfriend to their new home – the eternal home, where they will enjoy peace and quiet. Then he rushed with his retinue into a black failure and disappeared. Master and Margarita saw the promised dawn, crossed the stony bridge and went to their eternal habitation. After the end of the described events in Moscow for a long time there were rumors of impure force and a band of Woland. The investigation on this case lasted for a long time.
In addition to the mad and dead – Berlioz and Baron Maigel – black cats also suffered. There were numerous detentions of namesakes of Koroviev and Woland. The investigation also took care of the disappearance of Margarita Nikolaevna and Natasha, but only came to the conclusion that these women were abducted by a gang of criminals. But here is what remains for the investigation completely unclear – why from the hospital was abducted incurable mental patient, calling himself Master.
As for the other participants in the events, there have also been changes in their lives. The entertainer Georges Bengalsky was discharged from the hospital, which lost a significant portion of his gaiety. From the Variety show, he resigned, because, as he rightly understood, it was impossible to speak to two thousand spectators every day and endure ridicule, listening to how it was better, with or without a head.
The theatrical administrator Varenukha became unusually kind, gentle and sympathetic, and otherwise nobody called him a “benefactor father”. Stepa Likhodeev after leaving the clinic was appointed to Rostov, where he became director of a large gastronomic store. They say that he became silent, eschews women and drinks only vodka, which is infused on currant buds, which made him very well.
Became old-old, with a shaky head, Finish Rimsky filed a request to leave the Variety and entered the theater of children’s dolls in Zamoskvorechye. Arkady Apollonovich Semlejarov was transferred to Bryansk and appointed head of the mushroom picking station.
In place of Rimsky was none other than Aloysius Mogarych. Bartender Sokov died of liver cancer nine months after Woland appeared in Moscow.
Yes, a few years later, memories dragged on many people who became unwitting participants in the events connected with the appearance of Woland and his retinue in Moscow, but not all.
Every year, on the night of the spring festive full moon, a modest green-eyed man appears on the Patriarch’s Ponds. This is an employee of the Institute of History and Philosophy, Professor Ivan Nikolaevich Ponyrev.
Arriving under the limes, he sits down on the same bench on which he sat on that memorable evening with Mikhail Aleksandrovich Berlioz. After that, it always goes by the same route past the ill-fated turnstile to a Gothic mansion in one of the Arbat lanes.
On such nights Ivan Nikolayevich returns home completely sick, and his wife, pretending not to notice the serious condition of her husband, puts her husband to sleep, having a syringe ready with a liquid of thick tea color.
After that, a poor woman, connected with a seriously ill person, can fall asleep. Ivan Nikolayevich will sleep until the morning and dream with a happy face.
The scientist always wakes up the same scene – the hangman is stabbed by a lance tied to a pillar and Gestas, who has lost his mind. But it’s not so much the scene itself that is scary, as unnatural illumination, which happens in the days of world catastrophes.
After the injection everything changes. He sees the moonlit road to which a man climbs in a white cloak with a bloody bleed, and next to him comes a young man in a torn chiton with a disfigured face. They are trying to agree on something, and the man in the white cloak is trying to get from his companion the answer to the question that is tormenting him. He begs to say that there was no execution. His young companion is smiling and says that there was really no execution.
Only this is what a man in a white cloak needs. He climbs higher and carries his companion with him. Behind them majestic is a witty dog.
Moonlight effervesces, and from it an exorbitant woman forms, next to her is Ivan’s former night visitor. Margarita kisses and soothes Ivan Nikolayevich. That’s when Ivan Nikolayevich sleeps with a happy face.
The next morning he wakes up silent, but absolutely healthy. And no one will disturb him until the next full moon – neither the noiseless killer of Gestas, nor the cruel fifth procurator of Judea, the horseman Pontius Pilate.