psna.ru

Magazine for tourists

Table of contents


Kinds of tourism

Excursion (author BV Emelyanov)

introduction

1. Fundamentals Excursion

2. guided technique

3. Professional skills guide

Tunisia (author Danielle shetar Friedrich chum)

In the Sikhote-Alin (author VK Arseniev)

Michail bulgakov. the heart of a dog

Mikhail bulgakov. the master and margarita

 Contents
 1. never talk to strangers
 Pontius pilate
 The seventh proof
 The pursuit
 The affair at griboyedov
 Schizophrenia
 The haunted flat
 A. duel between professor and poet
 Koroviev's tricks
 News from yalta
 The two ivans
 Black magic revealed
 Enter the hero
 Saved by cock-crow
 The dream of nikanor ivanovich
 The execution
 A day of anxiety
 Unwelcome visitors
 Margarita
 Azazello's cream
 The flight
 By candlelight
 Satan's rout
 The master is released
 How the procurator tried to save judas of karioth
 The burial
 The last of flat no.50
 The final adventure of koroviev and behemoth
 The fate of the master and margarita is decided
 Time to go
 On sparrow hills
 Absolution and eternal refuge
 Epilogue
Charlotte bronte. jane eyre

F. scott fitzgerald / the great gatsby

Jerome klapka jerome / three men in a boat


 Home
     Mikhail bulgakov. the master and margarita
          Epilogue

Epilogue

But what happened in Moscow after sunset on that Saturday evening when

Woland and his followers left the capital and vanished from Sparrow Hills?

There is no need to mention the flood of incredible rumours which

buzzed round Moscow for long afterwards and even spread to the dimmest and

most distant reaches of the provinces. The rumours are, in any case, too

nauseating to repeat.

On a train journey to Theodosia, the honest narrator himself heard a

story of how in Moscow two thousand people had rushed literally naked out of

a theatre and were driven home in taxis.

The whispered words ' evil spirits ' could be heard in milk queues and

tram queues, in shops, flats and kitchens, in commuter trains and

long-distance expresses, on stations and halts, in weekend cottages and on

beaches.

Educated and cultured people, of course, took no part in all this

gossip about evil spirits descending on Moscow, and even laughed at those

who did, and tried to bring them to reason. But facts, as they say, are

facts and they could not be brushed aside without some explanation : someone

had come to Moscow. The few charred cinders which were all that was left of

Griboyedov, and much more besides, were eloquent proof of it.

Cultured people took the viewpoint of the police : a gang of

brilliantly skilful hypnotists and ventriloquists had been at work.

Immediate and energetic steps; to arrest them in Moscow and beyond were

naturally taken but unfortunately without the least result. The man calling

himself Woland and all his followers had vanished from Moscow never to

return there or anywhere else. He was ot course suspected of having escaped

abroad, but there was no sign of his being there either.

The investigation of his case lasted for a long time. It was certainly

one of the strangest on record. Besides four gutted buildings and hundreds

of people driven out of their minds, several people had been killed. At

least, two of them were definitely known to have been killed--Berlioz, and

that wretched guide to the sights of Moscow, ex-baron Maigel. His charred

bones were found in flat No. 50 after the fire had been put out. Violence

had been done and violence could not go unchecked.

But there were other victims who suffered as a result of Woland's stay

in Moscow and these were, sad to say, black cats.

A good hundred of these peaceful, devoted and useful animals were shot

or otherwise destroyed in various parts of the country. Thirty-odd cats,

some in a cruelly mutilated condition, were handed in to police stations in

various towns. In Armavir, for instance, one of these innocent creatures was

brought to the police station with its forelegs tied up.

The man had ambushed the cat just as the animal, wearing a very furtive

expression (how can cats help looking furtive? It is not because they are

depraved but because they are afraid of being hurt by creatures stronger

than they are, such as dogs and people. It is easy enough to hurt them but

it is not something that anyone need be proud of)--well, with this furtive

look the cat was just about to jump into some bushes.

Pouncing on the cat and pulling off his tie to pinion it, the man

snarled threateningly:

' Aha! So you've decided to come to Armavir, have you, you hypnotist?

No good pretending to be dumb! We know all about you!'

The man took the cat to the police station, dragging the wretched beast

along by its front legs, which were bound with a green tie so that it was

forced to walk on its hind legs.

' Stop playing the fool! ' shouted the man, surrounded by a crowd of

hooting boys, ' No good trying that trick--walk properly! '

The black cat could only suffer in silence. Deprived by nature of the

gift of speech, it had no means of justifying itself. The poor creature owed

its salvation largely to the police and to its mistress, an old widow. As

soon as the cat was delivered to the police station it was found that the

man smelled violently of spirits, which made him a dubious witness.

Meanwhile the old woman, hearing from her neighbour that her cat had been

abducted, ran to the police station and arrived in time. She gave the cat a

glowing reference, saying that she had had it for five years, since it was a

kitten in fact, would vouch for it as she would for herself, proved that it

had not been caught in any mischief and had never been to Moscow. It had

been born in Armavir, had grown up there and learned to catch mice there.

The cat was untied and returned to its owner, though having learned by

bitter experience the consequences of error and slander.

A few other people besides cats suffered minor inconvenience. Several

arrests were made. Among those arrested for a short time were--in Leningrad

one man called Wollman and one called Wolper, three Woldemars in Saratov,

Kiev and Kharkhov, a Wallach in Kazan, and for some obscure reason a chemist

in Penza by the name of Vetchinkevich. He was, it is true, a very tall man

with a dark complexion and black hair.

Apart from that nine Korovins, four Korovkins and two Karavaevs were

picked up in various places. One man was taken off the Sebastopol train in

handcuffs at Belgorod station for having tried to amuse his

fellow-passengers with card tricks.

One lunchtime at Yaroslavl a man walked into a restaurant carrying a

Primus, which he had just had repaired. As soon as they caught sight of him

the two cloak-room attendants abandoned their post and ran, followed by all

the customers and staff. Afterwards the cashier found that all her day's

takings had been stolen.

There was more, much more than anyone can remember. A shock-wave of

disquiet ran through the country.

It cannot be said too often that the police did an admirable job, given

the circumstances. Everything possible was done, not only to catch the

criminals but to provide explanations for what they had done. A reason was

found for everything and one must admit that the explanations were

undeniably sensible.

Spokesmen for the police and a number of experienced psychiatrists

established that the members of the gang, or perhaps one of them (suspicion

fell chiefly on Koroviev) were hypnotists of incredible skill, capable of

appearing to be in two or more places at once. Furthermore, they were

frequently able to persuade people that things or people were where they

weren't, or, vice-versa, they could remove objects or people from someone's

field of vision that were really there all the time.

In the light of this information everything was explicable, even the

extraordinary incident of the bullet-proof cat in flat No. 50. There had, of

course, been no cat on the chandelier, no one had fired back at the

detectives ; they had been firing at nothing while Koroviev, who had made

them believe that there was a cat going berserk on the chandelier, had

obviously been standing behind the detectives' backs and deploying his

colossal though criminally misused powers of suggestion. It was he, of

course, who had poured paraffin all over the room and set fire to it.

Stepa Likhodeyev, of course, had never been to Yalta at all (a trick

like that was beyond even Koroviev) and had sent no telegram from Yalta.

After fainting in the doorway of his bedroom, frightened by Koroviev's trick

of producing a cat eating a pickled mushroom on a fork, he had lain there

until Koroviev had rammed a sheepskin hat on his head and sent him to Moscow

airport, suggesting to the reception committee of detectives that Stepa was

really climbing out of an aeroplane that had flown from Sebastopol.

It is true that the Yalta police claimed to have seen Stepa and to have

sent telegrams about him to Moscow, but not a single copy of these telegrams

was to be found, which led to the sad but incontrovertible conclusion that

the band of hypnotists had the power of hypnotising people at vast distances

and then not only individuals but whole groups.

This being the case the criminals were obviously capable of sending

even the sanest people mad, so that trivia like packs of cards in a man's

pocket or vanishing ladies' dresses or a beret that turned into a cat and

suchlike were scarcely worth mentioning. Tricks like that could be done by

any mediocre hypnotist on any stage, including the old dodge of wrenching

off the compere's head. The talking cat was child's play, too. To show

people a talking cat one only had to know the first principles of

ventriloquy, and clearly Koroviev's abilities went far beyond basic

principles.

No, packs of cards and false letters in Nikanor Ivanovich's briefcase

were mere trifles. It was he, Koroviev, who had pushed Berlioz to certain

death under the tramcar. It was he who had driven the wretched poet Ivan

Bezdomny out of his mind, he who had given him nightmares about ancient

Jerusalem and parched, sun-baked Mount Golgotha with the three crucified

men. It was he and his gang who had spirited Margarita Niko-layevna and her

maid away from Moscow. The police, incidentally, paid special attention to

this aspect of the case, trying to discover whether these women had been

kidnapped by this gang of murderers and arsonists or whether they had

voluntarily run away with the criminals. Basing their findings on the

ridiculous and confused evidence provided by Nikolai Ivanovich, taking into

account the insane note that Margarita Nikolayevna had left for her husband

to say that she was becoming a witch, and considering the fact that Natasha

had vanished leaving all her movables at home, the investigators came to the

conclusion that both maid and mistress had been hypnotised like so many

others and then kidnapped by the gang. There was always, of course, the

likely consideration that the crooks had been attracted by two such pretty

women.

However, one thing baffled the police completely--what could have been

the gang's motive for abducting a mental patient, who called himself the

master, from a psychiatric clinic? This completely eluded them, as did the

abducted patient's real name. He was therefore filed away for ever under the

pseudonym of 'No. 118, Block i.'

Thus nearly everything was explained away and the investigation, as all

good things must, came to an end.

Years passed and people began to forget about Woland, Koroviev and the

rest. Many things changed in the lives of those who had suffered at the

hands of Woland and his associates, and however minor these changes may have

been they are still worth following up.

George Bengalsky, for example, after three months in hospital,

recovered and was sent home, but he had to give up his job at the Variety at

the busiest time of the season, when the public was storming the theatre for

tickets : the memory of the black magic and its revelations was too

unbearable. Bengalsky gave up the Variety because he realised that he could

not stand the agony of standing up in front of two thousand people every

evening, being inevitably recognised and endlessly subjected to jeering

questions about how he preferred to be--with or without his head? Apart from

that the compere had lost a lot of the cheerfulness which is essential in

his job. He developed a nasty, compulsive habit of falling into a depression

every spring at the full moon, of suddenly grabbing his neck, staring round

in terror and bursting into tears. These attacks did not last for long, but

nevertheless since he did have them he could hardly go on doing his old job,

and the compere retired and began living on his savings which, by his modest

reckoning, were enough to keep him for fifty years.

He left and never again saw Varenukha, who had acquired universal love

and popularity for his incredible charm and politeness, remarkable even for

a theatre manager. The free-ticket hounds, for instance, regarded him as

their patron saint. At whatever hour they rang the Variety, through the

receiver would always come his soft, sad: ' Hello,' and if the caller asked

for Varenukha to be brought to the telephone the same voice hastened to

reply : ' Speaking--at your service.' But how Ivan Savyelich had suffered

for his politeness!

You can no longer speak to Stepa Likhodeyev if you telephone the

Variety. Immediately after his week's stay in hospital, Stepa was

transferred to Rostov where he was made the manager of a large delicatessen

store. There are rumours that he never touches port these days, that he only

drinks vodka distilled from blackcurrants and is much healthier for it. They

say, too, that he is very silent these days and avoids women.

Stepan Bogdanovich's removal from the Variety did not bring Rimsky the

joy he had dreamed of for so many years. After hospital and a cure at

Kislovodsk, the treasurer, now an old, old man with a shaking head, tendered

his resignation. It was Rimsky's wife who brought his letter of resignation

to the theatre : Grigory Danilovich himself could not find the strength,

even in daytime, to revisit the building where he had seen the moonlit

windowpane rattling and the long arm reaching down to grasp the catch.

Having retired from the Variety, Rimsky got a job at the children's

marionette theatre on the far side of the Moscow River. Here he never even

had to deal with Arkady Apollonich Sempleyarov on the subject of acoustics,

because he in turn had been transferred to Bryansk and put in charge of a

mushroom-canning plant. Now Muscovites eat his salted chanterelles and his

pickled button-mushrooms and they are so delicious that everybody is

delighted with Arkady Apollonich's change of job. It is all so long ago now

that there is no harm in saying that Arkady Appollonich never had much

success at improving the acoustics of Moscow's theatres anyway, and the

situation is much the same today.

Apart from Arkady Apollonich, several other people have given up the

theatre for good, among them Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoi, even though his only

link with the theatre was a fondness for free tickets. Nowadays Nikanor

Ivanovich not only refuses to accept free tickets : he wouldn't set foot

inside a theatre if you paid him and he even turns pale if the subject crops

up in conversation. More than the theatre he now loathes both Pushkin and

that gifted artiste, Savva Potapovich Kurolesov;

in fact he detests that actor to such a degree that last year, catching

sight of a black-bordered announcement in the newspaper that Sawa Potapovicb

had been struck down in the prime of life by a heart attack, Nikanor

Ivanovich turned such a violent shade of purple that he almost joined Savva

Potapovich, and he roared:

' Serve him right! '

What is more, the actor's death stirred so many painful memories for

Nikanor Ivanovich that he went out and, with the full moon for company, got

blind drunk. With every glass that he drank the row of hated figures

lengthened in front of him-- there stood Sergei Gerardovich Dunchill, there

stood the beautiful Ida Herkulanovna, there stood the red-bearded man and

his herd of fearsome geese.

And what happened to them? Nothing. Nothing could ever happen to them

because they never existed, just as the compere, the theatre itself, the

miserly old aunt hoarding currency in her cellar and the rude cooks never

existed either. Nikanor Ivanovich had dreamed it all under the evil

influence of the beastly Koroviev. The only real person in his dream was

Sawa Potapovich the actor, who got involved merely because Ivanor Ivanovich

had so often heard him on the radio. Unlike all the others, he was real.

So perhaps Aloysius Mogarych did not exist either? Far from it.

Aloysius Mogarych is still with us, in the very job that Rimsky gave

up--treasurer of the Variety Theatre.

About twenty-four hours after his call on Woland, Aloysius had regained

consciousness in a train somewhere near Vyatka. Finding that he had

absentmindedly left Moscow without his trousers but had somehow brought his

landlord's rent-book with him, Aloysius had given the conductor a colossal

tip, borrowed a pair of filthy old trousers from him and turned back to

Moscow from Vyatka. But he failed to find his landlord's house. The ancient

pile had been burnt to the ground. Aloysius, however, was extremely

ingenious. Within a fortnight he had moved into an excellent room in Bryusov

Street and a few months later he was installed in Rimsky's office. Just as

Rimsky had suffered under Stepa, Varenukha's life was now made a misery by

Aloysius. Ivan Savyelich's one and only wish is for Aloysius to be removed

as far away from the Variety as possible because, as Varenukha sometimes

whispers among his close friends, ' he has never met such a swine in his

life as that Aloysius and he wouldn't be surprised at anything Aloysius

might do '.

The house manager is perhaps biased. Aloysius is not known to have done

anything suspicious--indeed he does not appear to have done anything at all,

except of course to appoint another barman in place of Sokov. Andrei Fokich

died of cancer of the liver nine months after Woland's visit to Moscow. . .

.

More years passed and the events described in this truthful account

have faded from most people's memories--with a few exceptions.

Every year, at the approach of the vernal full moon, a man of about

thirty or a little more can be seen walking towards the lime trees of

Patriarch's Ponds. A reddish-haired, green-eyed, modestly dressed man. He is

Professor Ivan Nikolayich Poniryov of the Institute of History and

Philosophy.

When he reaches the lime trees he always sits down on the same bench on

which he sat that evening when Berlioz, now long forgotten by everybody, saw

the moon shatter to fragments for the last time in his life. Now that moon,

whole and in one piece, white in the early evening and later golden with its

outline of a dragon-horse, floats over the erstwhile poet Ivan Nikolayich

while seeming to stand still.

Ivan Nikolayich now knows and understands everything. He knows that as

a young man he fell victim to some crooked hypnotists, went to hospital and

was cured. But he knows that there is still something that is beyond his

control. He cannot control what happens at the springtime full moon. As soon

as it draws near, as soon as that heavenly body begins to reach that

fullness it once had when it hung in the sky high above the two

seven-branched candlesticks, Ivan Nikolayich grows uneasy and irritable,

loses his appetite, cannot sleep and waits for the moon to wax. When full

moon comes nothing can keep Ivan Nikolayich at home. Towards evening he

leaves home and goes to Patriarch's Ponds.

As he sits on the bench Ivan Nikolayich openly talks to himself,

smokes, peers at the moon or at the familiar turnstile.

Ivan Nikolayich spends an hour or two there, then gets up and walks,

always following the same route, across Spiridonovka Street with unseeing

eyes towards the side-streets near the Arbat.

He passes an oil-shop, turns by a crooked old gas lamp and creeps up to

some railings through which he can see a garden that is splendid, though not

yet in flower, and in it--lit on one side by moonlight, dark on the other,

with an attic that has a triple-casement window--a house in the Gothic

style.

The professor never knows what draws him to those railings or who lives

in that house, but he knows that it is useless to fight his instinct at full

moon. He knows, too, that in the garden beyond the railings he will

inevitably see the same thing every time.

He sees a stout, elderly man sitting on a bench, a man with a beard, a

pince-nez and very, very slightly piggish features. Ivan Nikolayich always

finds that tenant of the Gothic house in the same dreamy attitude, his gaze

turned towards the moon. Ivan Nikolayich knows that having stared at the

moon the seated man will turn and look hard at the attic windows, as though

expecting them to be flung open and something unusual to appear on the

windowsill.

The rest, too, Ivan Nikolayich knows by heart. At this point he has to

duck down behind the railings, because the man on the bench begins to twist

his head anxiously, his wandering eyes seeking something in the air. He

smiles in triumph, then suddenly clasps his hands in delicious agony and

mutters quite distinctly:

' Venus! Venus! Oh, what a fool I was . . .!'

' Oh God,' Ivan Nikolayich starts to whisper as he hides behind the

railings with his burning gaze fixed on the mysterious stranger. ' Another

victim of the moon . . . Another one like me . . .'

And the man goes on talking :

' Oh, what a fool I was! Why, why didn't I fly away with her? What was

I afraid of, stupid old ass that I am? I had to ask for that document! . . .

Well, you must just put up with it, you old cretin!' So it goes on until a

window opens on the dark side of the house, something white appears in it

and an unpleasant female voice rings out:

' Where are you, Nikolai Ivanovich? What the hell are you doing out

there? Do you want to catch malaria? Come and drink your tea! '

At this the man blinks and says in a lying voice :

' I'm just having a breath of fresh air, my dear! The air out here is

so nice! '

Then he gets up from his bench, furtively shakes his fist at the window

which has just closed and stumps indoors.

' He's lying, he's lying! Oh God, how he's lying! ' mumbles Ivan

Nikolayich as he walks from the railings. ' He doesn't come down to the

garden for the fresh air--he sees something in that springtime sky,

something high above the garden! What wouldn't I give to find out his

secret, to know who the Venus is that he lost and now tries vainly to catch

by waving his arms in the air.'

The professor returns home a sick man. His wife pretends not to notice

it and hurries him into bed, but she stays up and sits by the lamp with a

book, watching the sleeping man with a bitter look. She knows that at dawn

Ivan Nikolayich will wake up with an agonised cry, will start to weep and

rave. That is why she keeps in front of her on the tablecloth a hypodermic

syringe ready in a dish of spirit and an ampoule of liquid the colour of

strong tea.

Later the poor woman is free to go to sleep without misgiving. After

his injection Ivan Nikolayich will sleep until morning with a calm

expression and he will dream, unknown to her, dreams that are sublimely

happy.

It is always the same thing that wakens the scholar and wrings that

pitiful cry from him. He sees a strange, noseless executioner who, jumping

up and uttering a grunt as he does so, pierces the heart of the maddened

Hestas, lashed to a gibbet. But what makes the dream so horrible is not so

much the executioner as the lurid, unnatural light that comes from a cloud,

seething and drenching the earth, of the kind that only accompanies natural

disasters.

After his injection the sleeper's vision changes. From the bed to the

moon stretches a broad path of moonlight and up it is climbing a man in a

white cloak with a blood-red lining. Beside him walks a young man in a torn

chiton and with a disfigured face. The two are talking heatedly, arguing,

trying to agree about something.

' Ye gods! ' says the man in the cloak, turning his proud face to his

companion. ' What a disgusting method of execution! But please, tell

me,'--here the pride in his face turns to supplication--' it did not take

place, did it? I beg you--tell me that it never took place? '

' No, of course it never took place,' answers his companion in a husky

voice. ' It was merely your imagination.'

' Can you swear to that? ' begged the man in the cloak.

' I swear it! ' answers his companion, his eyes smiling.

' That is all I need to know! ' gasps the man in the cloak as he

strides on towards the moon, beckoning his companion on. Behind them walks a

magnificently calm, gigantic dog with pointed ears.

Then the moonbeam begins to shake, a river of moonlight floods out of

it and pours in all directions. From the flood materialises a woman of

incomparable beauty and leads towards Ivan a man with a stubble-grown face,

gazing fearfully round him. Ivan Nikolayich recognises him at once. It is

No. 118, his nocturnal visitor. In his dream Ivan stretches out his arms

towards him and asks greedily :

' So was that how it ended? '

' That is how it ended, disciple,' replies No. 118 as the woman

approaches Ivan and says :

' Of course. It has ended ; and everything has an end . . . I'll kiss

you on the forehead and everything will be as it should be . . .'

She leans over Ivan and kisses him on the forehead and Ivan strains

towards her to look into her eyes, but she draws back, draws back and walks

away towards the moon with her companion. . . .

Then the moon goes mad, deluges Ivan with streams of light, sprays

light everywhere, a moonlight flood invades the room, the light sways,

rises, drowns the bed. It is then that Ivan sleeps with a look of happiness

on his face.

In the morning he wakes silent, but quite calm and well. His bruised

memory has subsided again and until the next full moon no one will trouble

the professor--neither the noseless man who killed Hestas nor the cruel

Procurator of Judaea, fifth in that office, the knight Pontius Pilate.


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