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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
          Margarita

Margarita

Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no such thing as real,

true, eternal love? Cut out his lying tongue!

Follow me, reader, and only me and I will show you that love!

The master was wrong when he told Ivan with such bitterness, in the

hospital that hour before midnight, that she had forgotten him. It was

impossible. Of course she had not forgotten him.

First let us reveal the secret that the master refused to tell Ivan.

His beloved mistress was called Margarita Nikolayevna. Everything the master

said about her to the wretched poet was the strict truth. She was beautiful

and clever. It is also true that many women would have given anything to

change places with Margarita Nikolayevna. Thirty years old and childless,

Margarita was married to a brilliant scientist, whose work was of national

importance. Her husband was young, handsome, kind, honest and he adored his

wife. Margarita Nikolayevna and her husband lived alone in the whole of the

top floor of a delightful house in a garden in one of the side streets near

the Arbat. It was a charming place. You can see for yourself whenever you

feel like having a look. Just ask me and I'll tell you the address and how

to get there ; the house is standing to this day.

Margarita Nikolayevna was never short of money. She could buy whatever

she liked. Her husband had plenty of interesting friends. Margarita never

had to cook. Margarita knew nothing of the horrors of living in a shared

flat. In short . . . was she happy? Not for a moment. Since the age of

nineteen when she had married and moved into her house she had never been

happy. Ye gods! What more did the woman need? Why did her eyes always glow

with a strange fire? What else did she want, that witch with a very slight

squint in one eye, who always decked herself with mimosa every spring? I

don't know. Obviously she was right when she said she needed him, the

master, instead of a Gothic house, instead of a private garden, instead of

money. She was right--she loved him.

Even I, the truthful narrator, yet a mere onlooker, feel a pain when I

think what Margarita went through when she came back to the master's

basement the next day (fortunately she had not been able to talk to her

husband, who failed to come home at the time arranged) and found that the

master was not there. She did everything she could to discover where he

might be, but in vain. T'hen she returned home and took up her old life.

But when the dirty snow disappeared from the roads and pavements, as

soon as the raw, liv.e wind of spring blew in through the upper casement,

Margarita Nikolayevna felt even more wa-etched than in winter. She often

wept in secret, long and bitterly. She had no idea whether her lover was

dead or alive. The longer the hopeless days marched on, the oftener,

especially at twilight, she began to suspect that her man was dead. Slie

must either forget him o:r die herself. Her present existence was

intolerable. She had to forget him at all costs. But unfortunately he was

not a man one could forget.

' Yes, I made exactly the same mistake,' said Margarita, sitting by the

stove and watching the fire, lit in memory of the fire that used to burn

while he was writing about Pontius Pilate. ' Why did I leave him that night?

Why? I imust have been mad. I came back the' next day just as I had

promised, but it was too late. Yes, I ca-me too late like poor Matthew the

Levite!'

All this, of course, was nonsense, because what would have been changed

if she had stayed with the master that night? Would she have saved him? The

idea's absurd . . . but she was a woman- and she was desperate.

On the same day that witnessed the ridiculous scandal caused by the

black magician's appearance in Moscow, that Friday when Berlioz's uncle was

sent packing back to Kiev, when the accountant was arrested and a host of

other weird and improbable events took place, Margarita woke up around

midday in her bedroom, that looked out of an attic window of their top-floor

flat.

Waking, Margarita did not burst into tears, as she frequently did,

because she had woken up with a presentiment that today, at last, something

was going to happen. She kept the feeling warm and encouraged it, afraid

that it might leave her.

' I believe it! ' whispered Margarita solemnly. ' I believe something

is going to happen, must happen, because what have I done to be made to

suffer all my life? I admit I've lied and been unfaithful and lived a secret

life, but even that doesn't deserve such a cruel punishment . . . something

will happen, because a situation like this can't drag on for ever. Besides,

my dream was prophetic, that I'll swear. . . .'

With a sense of unease Margarita Nikolayevna dressed and brushed her

short curly hair in front of her triple dressing-table mirror.

The dream that Margarita had dreamed that night had been most unusual.

Throughout her agony of the past winter she had never dreamed of the master.

At night he left her and it was only during the day that her memory

tormented her. And now she had dreamed of him.

Margarita had dreamed of a place, mournful, desolate under a dull sky

of early spring. The sky was leaden, with tufts of low, scudding grey cloud

and filled with a numberless flock of rooks. There was a little hump-backed

bridge over a muddy, swollen stream ; joyless, beggarly, half-naked trees. A

lone aspen, and in the distance, past a vegetable garden stood a log cabin

that looked like a kind of outhouse. The surroundings looked so lifeless and

miserable that one might easily have been tempted to hang oneself on that

aspen by the little bridge. Not a breath of wind, not a cloud, not a living

soul. In short--hell. Suddenly the door of this hut was flung open and he

appeared in it, at a fair distance but clearly visible. He was dressed in

some vague, slightly tattered garment, hair in untidy tufts, unshaven. His

eyes looked anxious and sick. He waved and called. Panting in the lifeless

air, Margarita started running towards him over the uneven, tussocky ground.

At that moment she woke up.

' That dream can only mean one of two things,' Margarita Nikolayevna

reasoned with herself, ' if he is dead and beckoned me that means that he

came for me and I shall die soon. If so, I'm glad; that means that my agony

will soon be over. Or if he's alive, the dream can only mean that he is

reminding me of himself. He wants to tell me that we shall meet again . . .

yes, we shall meet again--soon.'

Still in a state of excitement, Margarita dressed, telling herself that

everything was working out very well, that one should know how to seize such

moments and make use of them. Her husband had gone away on business for

three whole days. She was left to herself for three days and no one was

going to stop her thinking or dreaming of whatever she wished. All five

rooms on the top floor of the house, a flat so big that tens of thousands of

people in Moscow would have envied her, was entirely at her disposal.

Yet free as she was for three days in such luxurious quarters,

Margarita chose the oddest part of it in which to spend her time. After a

cup of tea she went into their dark, windowless attic where they kept the

trunks, the lumber and two large chests of drawers full of old junk.

Squatting down she opened the bottom drawer of the first chest and from

beneath a pile of odds and ends of material she drew out the one thing which

she valued most of all. It was an old album bound in brown leather, which

contained a photograph of the master, a savings bank book with a deposit of

ten thousand roubles in his name, a few dried rose petals pressed between

some pieces of cigarette paper and several sheets of typescript with singed

edges.

Returning to her bedroom with this treasure, Margarita Nikolayevna

propped up the photograph against her dressing-table mirror and sat for

about an hour, the burnt typescript on her knees, turning the pages and

re-reading what the fire had not destroyed: '. . . The mist that came from

the Mediterranean

sea blotted out the city that Pilate so detested. The suspension

bridges connecting the temple with the grim fortress of Antonia vanished,

the murk descended from the sky and drowned the winged gods above the

hippodrome, the crenellated Hasmonaean palace, the bazaars, the

caravanserai, the alleyways, the pools . . . Jerusalem, the great city,

vanished as though it had never been. . ..'

Margarita wanted to read on, but there was nothing more except the

charred, uneven edge.

Wiping away her tears, Margarita Nikolayevna put down the script,

leaned her elbows on the dressing-table and sat for a long rime in front of

her reflection in the mirror staring at the photograph. After a while she

stopped crying. Margarita carefully folded away her hoard, a few minutes

later it was buried again under the scraps of silk and the lock shut with a

click in the dark room.

Margarita put on her overcoat in the hall to go out for a walk. Her

pretty maid Natasha enquired what she was to do tomorrow and being told that

she could do what she liked, she started talking to her mistress to pass the

time and mentioned something vague about a magician who had done such

fantastic tricks in the theatre yesterday that everybody had gasped, that he

had handed out two bottles of French perfume and two pairs of stockings to

everybody for nothing and then, when the show was over and the audience was

coming out--bang!--they were all naked! Margarita Nikolayevna collapsed on

to the hall chair and burst out laughing.

' Natasha, really! Aren't you ashamed of yourself? ' said Margarita. '

You're a sensible, educated girl . . . and you repeat every bit of rubbishy

gossip that you pick up in queues! '

Natasha blushed and objected hotly, saying that she never listened to

queue gossip and that she had actually seen a woman that morning come into a

delicatessen on the Arbat wearing some new shoes and while she was standing

at the cash desk to pay, her shoes had vanished and she was left standing in

her stockinged feet. She looked horrified, because she had a hole in the

heel of one stocking! The shoes were the magic ones that she had got at the

show.

' And she walked out barefoot? '

' Yes, she did! ' cried Natasha, turning even pinker because no one

would believe her. ' And yesterday evening, Margarita Nikolayevna, the

police arrested a hundred people. Some of the women who'd been at the show

were running along the Tver-skaya in nothing but a pair of panties.'

' That sounds to me like one of your friend Darya's stories,' said

Margarita Nikolayevna. ' I've always thought she was a frightful liar.'

This hilarious conversation ended with a pleasant surprise for Natasha.

Margarita Nikolayevna went into her bedroom and came out with a pair of

stockings and a bottle of eau-de-cologne. Saying to Natasha that she wanted

to do a magic trick too, Margarita gave her the stockings and the scent; she

told her that she could have them on one condition--that she promised not to

run along the Tverskaya in nothing but stockings and not to listen to

Darya's gossip. With a kiss mistress and maid parted.

Leaning back on her comfortable upholstered seat in the trolley-bus,

Margarita Nikolayevna rolled along the Arbat, thinking of her own affairs

and half-listening to what two men on the seat in front were whispering.

Glancing round occasionally for fear of being overheard, they seemed to be

talking complete nonsense. One, a plump, hearty man with sharp pig-like

eyes, who was sitting by the window, was quietly telling his smaller

neighbour how they had been forced to cover the open coffin with a black

cloth . . .

' Incredible! ' whispered the little one in amazement. ' It's

unheard-of! So what did Zheldybin do? '

Above the steady hum of the trolley-bus came the reply from the window

seat:

' Police . . . scandal . . . absolute mystery!'

Somehow Margarita Nikolayevna managed to construct a fairly coherent

story from these snatches of talk. The men were whispering that someone had

stolen the head of a corpse (they did not mention the dead man's name) from

a coffin that morning. This, apparently, was the cause of Zheldybin's

anxiety and the two men whispering in the trolley-bus also appeared to have

some connection with the victim of this ghoulish burglary.

' Shall we have time to buy some flowers? ' enquired the smaller man

anxiously. ' You said the cremation was at two o'clock, didn't you? '

In the end Margarita Nikolayevna grew bored with their mysterious

whispering about the stolen head and she was glad when it was time for her

to get out.

A few minutes later she was sitting under the Kremlin wall on one of

the benches in the Alexander Gardens facing the Manege. Margarita squinted

in the bright sunlight, recalling her dream and she remembered that exactly

a year ago to the hour she had sat on this same bench beside him. Just as it

had then, her black handbag lay on the bench at her side. Although the

master was not there this time, Margarita Nikolayevna carried on a mental

conversation with him : ' If you've been sent into exile why haven't you at

least written to tell me? Don't you love me any more? No, somehow I don't

believe that. In that case you have died in exile ...' If you have, please

release me, let me go free to lead my life like other people! ' Margarita

answered for him : ' You're free . . . I'm not keeping you by force.' Then

she replied: ' What sort of an answer is that? I won't be free until I stop

thinking of you . . .'

People were walking past. One man gave a sideways glance at this

well-dressed woman. Attracted by seeing a pretty girl alone, he coughed and

sat down on Margarita Nikolayevna's half of the bench. Plucking up his

courage he said :

' What lovely weather it is today . . .'

Margarita turned and gave him such a grim look that he got up and went

away.

' That's what I mean,' said Margarita silently to her lover. ' Why did

I chase that man away? I'm bored, there was nothing wrong with that

Casanova, except perhaps for his highly unoriginal remark . . . Why do I sit

here alone like an owl? Why am I cut off from life? '

She had worked herself into a state of complete depression, when

suddenly the same wave of urgent expectancy that she had felt that morning

overcame her again. ' Yes, something's going to happen! ' The wave struck

her again and she then realised that it was a wave of sound. Above the noise

of traffic there clearly came the sound of approaching drum-beats and the

braying of some off-key trumpets.

First to pass the park railings was a mounted policeman, followed by

three more on foot. Next came the band on a lorry, then a slow-moving open

hearse carrying a coffin banked with wreaths and a guard of honour of four

people--three men and a woman. Even from a distance Margarita could see that

the members of the guard of honour looked curiously distraught. This was

particularly noticeable in the woman, who was standing at the left-hand rear

corner of the hearse. Her fat cheeks seemed to be more than normally puffed

out by some secret joke and her protuberant little eyes shone with a

curiously ambiguous sparkle. It was as if the woman was liable at any moment

to wink at the corpse and say ' Did you ever see such a thing? Stealing a

dead man's head . . .! ' The three hundred-odd mourners, who were slowly

following the cortege on foot, looked equally mystified.

Margarita watched the cortege go by, listening to the mournful beat of

the kettle-drum as its monotonous ' boom, boom, boom' slowly faded away and

she thought: ' What a strange funeral . . . and how sad that drum sounds!

I'd sell my soul to the devil to know whether he's alive or not ... I wonder

who that odd-looking crowd is going to bury? '

' Mikhail Alexandrovich Berlioz,' said a slightly nasal man's voice

beside her, ' the late chairman of MASSOLIT.'

Margarita Nikolayevna turned in astonishment and saw a man on her bench

who must have sat down noiselessly while she had been watching the funeral

procession. Presumably she had absentmindedly spoken her last question

aloud. Meanwhile the procession had stopped, apparently held up by the

traffic lights.

1 Yes,' the stranger went on, ' it's an odd sort of funeral. They're

carrying the man off to the cemetery in the usual way but all they can think

about is--what's happened to his head? '

' Whose head? ' asked Margarita, glancing at her unexpected neighbour.

He was short, with fiery red hair and one protruding fang, wearing a

starched shirt, a good striped suit, patent-leather shoes and a bowler hat.

His tie was bright. One strange feature was his breast pocket: instead of

the usual handkerchief or fountain pen, it contained a gnawed chicken bone.

' This morning,' explained the red-haired man, ' the head was pulled

off the dead man's body during the lying-in-state at Griboyedov.'

' How ever could that have happened? ' asked Margarita, suddenly

remembering the two whispering men in the trolley-bus.

' Devil knows how,' said the man vaguely. ' I suspect Behemoth might be

able to tell you. It must have been a neat job, but why bother to steal a

head? After all, who on earth would want it?

Preoccupied though she was, Margarita Nikolayevna could not help being

intrigued by this stranger's extraordinary conversation.

' Just a minute! ' she suddenly exclaimed. ' Who is Berlioz? Is he the

one in the newspapers today who . . .'

' Yes, yes.'

' So those were writers in the guard of honour round the coffin? '

enquired Margarita, suddenly baring her teeth.

' Yes, of course . . .'

' Do you know them by sight? '

' Every one,' the man replied.

' Tell me,' said Margarita, her voice dropping, ' is one of them a

critic by the name of Latunsky? '

' How could he fail to be there? ' answered the man with red hair. '

That's him, on the far side of the fourth rank.'

' The one with fair hair? ' asked Margarita, frowning.

' Ash-blond. Look, he's staring up at the sky.'

' Looking rather like a Catholic priest? '

' That's him!'

Margarita asked no more questions but stared hard at Latunsky.

' You, I see,' said the stranger with a smile, ' hate that man

Latunsky. ' Yes, and someone else too,' said Margarita between clenched

teeth, ' but I'd rather not talk about it.'

Meanwhile the procession had moved on again, the mourners being

followed by a number of mostly empty cars.

' Then we won't discuss it, Margarita Nikolayevna!'

Astounded, Margarita said:

' Do you know me? '

Instead of replying the man took off his bowler hat and held it in his

outstretched hand.

' A face like a crook,' thought Margarita, as she stared at him.

' But I don't know you,' she said frigidly.

' Why should you? However, I have been sent on a little matter that

concerns you.'

Margarita paled and edged away. ' Why didn't you say so at once,' she

said, ' instead of making up that fairy tale about a stolen head? Have you

come to arrest me? '

' Nothing of the sort! ' exclaimed the man with red hair. ' Why does

one only have to speak to a person for them to imagine they're going to be

arrested? I simply have a little matter to discuss with you.'

' I don't understand--what matter? '

The stranger glanced round and said mysteriously :

' I have been sent to give you an invitation for this evening.'

' What are you talking about? What invitation? '

' You are invited by a very distinguished foreign gentleman,' said the

red-haired man portentously, with a frown.

Margarita blazed with anger.

' I see that pimps work in the streets now! ' she said as she got up to

go.

' Is that all the thanks I get? ' exclaimed the man, offended. And he

growled at Margarita's retreating back :

' Stupid bitch! '

' Swine! ' she flung back at him over her shoulder.

Immediately she heard the stranger's voice behind her:

' The mist that came from the Mediterranean sea blotted out the city

that Pilate so detested. The suspension bridges connecting the temple with

the grim fortress of Antonia vanished, the murk descended from the sky and

drowned the winged gods above the hippodrome, the crenellated Hasmonaean

palace, the bazaars, the caravansera.1, the alleyways, the pools. . . .

Jerusalem, the great city, vanished as though it had never been. ... So much

for your charred manuscript and your dried rose petals! Yet you sit here

alone on a bench and beg him to let you go, to allow you to be free and to

forget him! '

White in the face, Margarita turned back to the bench. The man sat

frowning at her.

' I don't understand, it,' said Margarita Nikolayevna in a hushed

voice. ' You might have found out about the manuscript . . . you might have

broken in, stolen it, looked at it ... I suppose you bribed Natasha. But how

could you know what I was thinking? ' She -wrinkled her brow painfully and

added ' Tell me, who are you? What organisation do you belong to? '

' Oh, lord, not that. . .' muttered the stranger in exasperation. In a

louder voice he said : 'I'm sorry. As I said, I have not come to arrest you

and I don't belong to any " organisation." Please sit down.'

Margarita obediently did as she was told, but once seated could not

help asking again :

' Who are you? '

' Well if you must know my name is Azazello, although it won't mean

anything to you.'

' And won't you tell me how you knew about the manuscript and how you

read my thoughts? '

' I will not,' said Azazello curtly.

' Do you know anything about him? ' whispered Margarita imploringly.

' Well, let's say I do.'

' Tell me, I beg of you, just one thing--is he alive? Don't torture me!

'

' Yes, he's alive all rig:ht,' said Azazello reluctantly.

' Oh, God!'

' No scenes, please,' said Azazello with a frown.

' I'm sorry, I'm sorry,' said Margarita humbly. ' I'm sorry I lost my

temper with you. But you must admit that if someone comes up to a woman in

the street and invites her ... I have no prejudices, I assure you.'

Margarita laughed mirthlessly. ' But I never meet foreigners and I have

never wanted to ... besides that, my husband ... my tragedy is that I live

with a man I don't love . . . but I can't bring myself to ruin his life ...

he has never shown me anything but kindness . . .'

Azazello listened to this incoherent confession and said severely:

' Please be quiet for a moment.'

Margarita obediently stopped talking.

' My invitation to this foreigner is quite harmless. And not a soul

will know about it. That I swear.'

' And what does he want me for? ' asked Margarita insinuatingly.

' You will discover that later.'

' I see now ... I am to go to bed with him,' said Margarita

thoughtfully.

To this Azazello snorted and replied:

' Any woman in the world, I can assure you, would give anything to do

so '--his face twisted with a laugh--' but I must disappoint you. He doesn't

want you for that.'

' Who is this foreigner? ' exclaimed Margarita in perplexity, so loudly

that several passers-by turned to look at her. ' And why should I want to go

and see him? '

Azazello leaned towards her and whispered meaningly :

' For the best possible reason ... you can use the opportunity...'

' What? ' cried Margarita, her eyes growing round. ' If I've understood

you correctly, you're hinting that I may hear some news of him there? '

Azazello nodded silently.

' I'll go!' Margarita burst out and seized Azazello by the arm. ' I'll

go wherever you like i ' With a sigh of relief Azazello leaned against the

back of the bench, covering up the name ' Manya ' carved deep into its wood,

and said ironically : ' Difficult people, these woman! ' He stuck his hands

into his pockets and stretched his feet out far in front of him. ' Why did

he have to send me on this job? Behemoth should have done it, he's got such

charm . . .'

W^ith a bitter smile Margarita said :

' Stop mystifying me and talking in riddles. I'm happy and you're

making use of it ... I may be about to let myself in for some dubious

adventure, but I swear it's only because you have enticed me by talking

about him! All this mystery is making my head spin . . .'

' Please don't make a drama out of it,' replied Azazello with a

grimace. ' Think of what it's like being in my position. Punch a man on the

nose, kick an old man downstairs, shoot somebody or any old thing like that,

that's my job. But argue with women in love--no thank you! Look, I've been

at it with you for half an hour now . . . Are you going or not? '

' I'll go,' replied Margarita Nikolayevna simply.

' In that case allow me to present you with this,' said Azazello,

taking a little round gold box out of his pocket and saying as he handed it

to Margarita : ' Hide it, or people will see it. It will do you good,

Margarita Nikolayevna; unhappiness has aged you a lot in the last six

months--' Margarita bridled but said nothing, and Azazello went on : ' This

evening, at exactly half past eight, you will kindly strip naked and rub

this ointment all over your face and your body. After that you can do what

you like, but don't go far from the telephone. At nine I shall ring you up

and tell you what you have to do. You won't have to worry about anything,

you'll be taken to where you're going and nothing will be done to upset you.

Understood? '

Margarita said nothing for a moment, then replied :

' I understand. This thing is solid gold, I can tell by its weight. I

quite see that I am being seduced into something shady which I shall

bitterly regret. . .'

' What's that? ' Azazello almost hissed. ' You're not having second

thoughts are you? '

' No, no, wait!'

' Give me back the cream! '

Margarita gripped the box tighter and went on:

' No, please wait ... I know what I'm letting myself in for. I'm ready

to go anywhere and do anything for his sake, only because I have no more

hope left. But if you are planning to ruin or destroy me, you will regret

it. Because if I die for his sake I shall have died out of love.'

' Give it back!' shouted Azazello in fury. ' Give it back and to hell

with the whole business. They can send Behemoth! '

' Oh, no!' cried Margarita to the astonishment of the passers-by. ' I

agree to everything, I'll go through the whole pantomime of smearing on the

ointment, I'll go to the ends of the earth! I won't give it back! '

' Bah! ' Azazello suddenly roared and staring at the park railings,

pointed at something with his finger.

Margarita turned in the direction that he was pointing, but saw nothing

in particular. Then she turned to Azazello for some explanation of his

absurd cry of ' Bah! ', but there was no one to explain : Margarita

Nikolayevna's mysterious companion had vanished.

Margarita felt in her handbag and made sure that the gold box was still

where she had put it. Then without stopping to reflect she hurried away from

the Alexander Gardens.


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