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
          The final adventure of koroviev and behemoth

The Final Adventure of Koroviev and Behemoth

No one, of course, can say for certain whether those figures were real

or merely imagined by the frightened inhabitants of that ill-fated block on

Sadovaya Street. If they were real, no one knows exactly where they were

going; but we do know that about a quarter of an hour after the outbreak of

fire on Sadovaya Street, a tall man in a check suit and a large black cat

appeared outside the glass doors of the Torgsin Store in Smolensk Market.

Slipping dexterously between the passers-by, the man opened the outer

door of the store only to be met by a small, bony and extremely hostile

porter who barred his way and said disagreeably :

' No cats allowed!'

' I beg your pardon,' quavered the tall man, cupping his knotty hand to

his ear as though hard of hearing,' no cats, did you say? What cats?'

The porter's eyes bulged, and with reason: there was no cat by the

man's side, but instead a large fat man in a tattered cap, with vaguely

feline looks and holding a Primus, was pushing his way into the shop.

For some reason the misanthropic porter did not care for the look of

this couple.

' You can only buy with foreign currency here,' he croaked, glaring at

them from beneath ragged, moth-eaten eyebrows.

' My dear fellow,' warbled the tall man, one eye glinting through his

broken pince-nez,' how do you know that I haven't got any? Are you judging

by my suit? Never do that, my good man. You may make a terrible mistake.

Read the story of the famous caliph Haroun-al-Rashid and you'll see what I

mean. But for the present, leaving history aside for a moment, I warn you I

shall complain to the manager and I shall tell him such tales about you that

you'll wish you had never opened your mouth!'

' This Primus of mine may be full of foreign currency for all you

know,' said the stout cat-like figure. An angry crowd was forming behind

them. With a look of hatred and suspicion at the dubious pair, the porter

stepped aside and our friends Koroviev and Behemoth found themselves in the

store. First they looked around and then Koroviev announced in a penetrating

voice, audible everywhere :

' What a splendid store! A very, very good. store indeed! '

The customers turned round from the counters to stare at Koroviev in

amazement, although there was every reason to praise the store. Hundreds of

different bolts of richly coloured poplins stood in holders on the floor,

whilst behind them the shelves were piled with calico, chiffon amd worsted.

Racks full of shoes stretched into the distance where several women were

sitting on low chairs, a worn old shoe on their right foot, a gleaming new

one on their left. From somewhere out of sight came the sound of song and

gramophone music.

Spurning all these delights Koroviev and Behemoth went straight to the

delicatessen and confectionery departments. These were spaciously laid out

and full of women in headscarves and berets. A short, completely square,

blue-jowled little man wearing horn-rims, a pristine hat with unstained

ribbon, dressed in a fawn overcoat and tan kid gloves, was standing at a

counter and booming away in an authoritative voice at: an assistant in a

clean white overall and blue cap. With a long sharp knife, very like the

knife Matthew the Levite stole, he was easing the snake-like skin away from

the fat, juicy flesh of a pink salmon.

' This department is excellent, too,' Koroviev solemnly pronounced '

and that foreigner looks a nice man.' He pointed approvingly at the fawn

coat.

' No, Faggot, no' answered Behemoth thoughtfully. ' You're

wrong. I think there is something missing in that gentleman's face.'

The fawn back quivered, but it was probably coincidence, because he was

after all a foreigner and could not have understood what Koroviev and his

companion had been saying in Russian.

' Is goot? ' enquired the fawn customer in a stern voice.

' First class! ' replied the assistant, showing off his blade-work with

a flourish that lifted a whole side of skin from the salmon.

' Is goot--I like, is bad--I not like,' added the foreigner.

' But of course! ' rejoined the salesman.

At this point our friends left the foreigner to his salmon and moved

over to the cakes and pastries.

' Hot today,' said Koroviev to a pretty, red-cheeked young salesgirl,

to which he got no reply.

' How much are the tangerines? ' Koroviev then asked her.

' Thirty kopeks the kilo,' replied the salesgirl.

' They look delicious,' said Koroviev with a sigh, ' Oh, dear ' . . .

He thought for a while longer, then turned to his friend. ' Try one.

Behemoth.'

The stout cat-person tucked his Primus under his arm, took the

uppermost tangerine off the pyramid, ate it whole, skin and all, and took

another.

The salesgirl was appalled.

' Hey--are you crazy? ' she screamed, the colour vanishing from her

cheeks. ' Where are your travellers' cheques or foreign currency? ' She

threw down her pastry-tongs.

' My dear, sweet girl,' cooed Koroviev, leaning right across the

counter and winking at the assistant,' I can't help it but we're just out of

currency today. I promise you I'll pay you it all cash down next time,

definitely not later than Monday! We live nearby on Sadovaya, where the

house caught fire . . .'

Having demolished a third tangerine. Behemoth thrust his paw into an

ingenious structure built of chocolate bars, pulled out the bottom one,

which brought the whole thing down with a crash, and swallowed the chocolate

complete with its gold wrapper.

The assistant at the fish counter stood petrified, knife in hand, the

fawn-coated foreigner turned round towards the looters, revealing that

Behemoth was wrong: far from his face lacking something it was if anything

over-endowed--huge pendulous cheeks and bright, shifty eyes.

The salesgirl, now pale yellow, wailed miserably.

' Palosich! Palosich!'

The sound brought customers running from the drapery department.

Meanwhile Behemoth had wandered away from the temptations of the

confectionery counter and thrust his paw into a barrel labelled ' Selected

Kerch Salted Herrings,' pulled out a couple of herrings, gulped them both

down and spat out the tails.

' Palosich! ' came another despairing shriek from the confectionery

counter and the man at the fish counter, his goatee wagging in fury, barked

:

' Hey, you--what d'you think you're doing!'

Pavel Yosifovich (reduced to ' Palosich' in the excitement) was already

hurrying to the scene of action. He was an imposing man in a clean white

overall like a surgeon, with a pencil sticking out of his breast pocket. He

was clearly a man of great experience. Catching sight of a herring's tail

protruding from Behemoth's mouth he summed up the situation in a moment and

refusing to join in a shouting match with the two villains, waved his arm

and gave the order :

С Whistle! '

The porter shot out into Smolensk Market and relieved his feelings with

a furious whistle-blast. As customers began edging up to the rogues and

surrounding them, Koroviev went into action.

' Citizens! ' he cried in a vibrant ringing voice,' What's going on

here? Eh? I appeal to you! This poor man '--Koroviev put a tremor into his

voice and pointed at Behemoth, who had immediately assumed a pathetic

expression--' this poor man has been mending a Primus all day. He's hungry .

. . where could he get any foreign currency? '

Pavel Yosifovich, usually calm and reserved, shouted grimly:

' Shut up, you! ' and gave another impatient wave of his arm. Just then

the automatic bell on the door gave a cheerful tinkle. Koroviev, quite

undisturbed by the manager's remark, went on:

' I ask you--where? He's racked with hunger and thirst, he's hot. So

the poor fellow tried a tangerine. It's only worth three kopecks at the

most, but they have to start whistling like nightingales in springtime,

bothering the police and stopping them from doing their proper job. But it's

all right for him isn't it?! '

Koroviev pointed at the fat man in the fawn coat, who exhibited violent

alarm. ' Who is he? Mm? Where's he from? Why is he here? Were we dying of

boredom without him? Did we invite him? Of course not! ' roared the

ex-choirmaster, his mouth twisted into a sarcastic leer. ' Look at him--in

his smart fawn coat, bloated with good Russian salmon, pockets bulging with

currency, and what about our poor comrade here? What about him, I ask you? '

wailed Koroviev, completely overcome by his own oratory.

This ridiculous, tactless and doubtless politically dangerous speech

made Pavel Yosifovich shake with rage, but strangely enough it was clear

from the looks of the customers that many of them approved of it. And when

Behemoth, wiping his eyes with a ragged cuff, cried tragically: ' Thank you,

friend, for speaking up for a poor man,' a miracle happened. A quiet,

dignified, little old man, shabbily but neatly dressed, who had been buying

three macaroons at the pastry counter, was suddenly transformed. His eyes

flashed fire, he turned purple, threw his bagfull of macaroons on to the

floor and shouted in a thin, childish voice : ' He's right! ' Then he picked

up a tray, threw away the remains of the chocolate-bar Eiffel Tower that

Behemoth had ruined, waved it about, pulled off the foreigner's hat with his

left hand, swung the tray with his right and brought it down with a crash on

the fawn man's balding head. There was a noise of the kind you hear when

sheet steel is thrown down from a lorry. Turning pale, the fat man staggered

and fell backwards into the barrel of salted herrings, sending up a fountain

of brine and fish-scales. This produced a second miracle. As the fawn man

fell into the barrel of fish he screamed in perfect Russian without a trace

of an accent:

' Help! Murder! They're trying to kill me! ' The shock had obviously

given him sudden command of a hitherto unknown language.

The porter had by now stopped whistling and through the crowd of

excited customers could be seen the approach of two police helmets. But the

cunning Behemoth poured paraffin from the Primus on to the counter and it

burst spontaneously into flame. It flared up and ran along the counter,

devouring the beautiful paper ribbons decorating the baskets of fruit. The

salesgirls leaped over the counter and ran away screaming as the flames

caught the blinds on the windows and more paraffin caught alight on the

floor.

With a shriek of horror the customers shuffled out of the

confectionery, sweeping aside the helpless Pavel Yosifovich, while the fish

salesmen galloped away towards the staff door, clutching their razor-sharp

knives.

Heaving himself out of the barrel the fawn man, covered in salt-herring

juice, staggered past the salmon counter and followed the crowd. There was a

tinkling and crashing of glass at the doorway as the public fought to get

out, whilst the two villains, Koroviev and the gluttonous Behemoth,

disappeared, no one knew where. Later, witnesses described having seen them

float up to the ceiling and then burst like a couple of balloons. This story

sounds too dubious for belief and we shall probably never know what really

happened.

We do know however that exactly a minute later Behemoth and Koroviev

were seen on the boulevard pavement just outside Griboyedov House. Koroviev

stopped by the railings and said:

' Look, there's the writers' club. You know. Behemoth, that house has a

great reputation. Look at it, my friend. How lovely to think of so much

talent ripening under that roof.'

' Like pineapples in a hothouse,' said Behemoth, climbing up on to the

concrete plinth of the railings for a better look at the yellow, colonnaded

house.

' Quite so,' agreed his inseparable companion Koroviev, ' and what a

delicious thrill one gets, doesn't one, to think that at this moment in that

house there may be the future author of a Don Quixote, or a Faust or who

knows--Dead Souls? '

' It could easily happen,' said Behemoth.

' Yes,' Koroviev went on, wagging a warning finger, ' but-- but, I say,

and I repeat--but! . . provided that those hothouse growths are not attacked

by some microorganism, provided they're not nipped in the bud, provided they

don't rot! And it can happen with pineapples, you know! Ah, yes, it can

happen!'

' Frightening thought,' said Behemoth.

' Yes,' Koroviev went on, ' think what astonishing growths may sprout

from the seedbeds of that house and its thousands of devotees of Melpomene,

Polyhymnia and Thalia. Just imagine the furore if one of them were to

present the reading public with a Government Inspector or at least a Eugene

Onegm!'

' By the way,' enquired the cat poking its round head through a gap in

the railings. ' what are they doing on the verandah? '

' Eating,' explained Koroviev. ' I should add that this place has a

very decent, cheap restaurant. And now that I think of it, like any tourist

starting on a long journey I wouldn't mind a snack and large mug of iced

beer.'

' Nor would I,' said Behemoth and the two rogues set off under the lime

trees and up the asphalt path towards the unsuspecting restaurant.

A pale, bored woman in white ankle-socks and a white tasselled beret

was sitting on a bentwood chair at the corner entrance to the verandah,

where there was an opening in the creeper-grown trellis. In front of her on

a plain kitchen table lay a large book like a ledger, in which for no known

reason the woman wrote the names of the people entering the restaurant. She

stopped Koroviev and Behemoth.

' Your membership cards?' she said, staring in surprise at Koroviev's

pince-nez, at Behemoth's Primus and grazed elbow.

' A thousand apologies, madam, but what membership cards? ' asked

Koroviev in astonishment.

' Are you writers? ' asked the woman in return.

' Indubitably,' replied Koroviev with dignity.

' Where are your membership cards? ' the woman repeated.

' Dear lady . . .' Koroviev began tenderly.

' I'm not a dear lady,' interrupted the woman.

' Oh, what a shame,' said Koroviev in a disappointed voice and went on

: ' Well, if you don't want to be a dear lady, which would have been

delightful, you have every right not to be. But look here--if you wanted to

make sure that Dostoyevsky was a writer, would you really ask him for his

membership card? Why, you only have to take any five pages of one of his

novels and you won't need a membership card to convince you that the man's a

writer. I don't suppose he ever had a membership card, anyway I What do you

think?' said Koroviev, turning to Behemoth.

' I'll bet he never had one,' replied the cat, putting the Primus on

the table and wiping the sweat from its brow with its paw.

С You're not Dostoyevsky,' said the woman to Koroviev.

С How do you know? '

' Dostoyevsky's dead,' said the woman, though not very confidently.

' I protest! ' exclaimed Behemoth warmly. ' Dostoyevsky is immortal!'

' Your membership cards, please,' said the woman.

' This is really all rather funny! ' said Koroviev, refusing to give

up. 'A writer isn't a writer because he has a membership card but because he

writes. How do you know what bright ideas may not be swarming in my head? Or

in his head? ' And he pointed at Behemoth's head. The cat removed its cap to

give the woman a better look at its head. ' Stand back, please,' she said,

irritated.

Koroviev and Behemoth stood aside and made way for a writer in a grey

suit and a white summer shirt with the collar turned out over his jacket

collar, no tie and a newspaper under his arm. The writer nodded to the woman

and scribbled a flourish in the book as he passed through to the verandah.

' We can't,' said Koroviev sadly,' but he can have that mug of cold

beer which you and I, poor wanderers, were so longing for. We are in an

unhappy position and I see no way out.'

Behemoth only spread his paws bitterly and put his cap back on his

thick head of hair that much resembled cat's fur.

At that moment a quiet but authoritative voice said to the woman :

' Let them in, Sofia Pavlovna.'

The woman with the ledger looked up in astonishment. From behind the

trellis foliage loomed the pirate's white shirt-front and wedge-shaped

beard. He greeted the two ruffians with a welcoming look and even went so

far as to beckon them on. Archibald Archibaldovich made his authority felt

in this restaurant and Sofia Pavlovna obediently asked Koroviev :

' What is your name? '

' Panayev,' was the polite reply. The woman wrote down the name and

raised her questioning glance to Behemoth.

' Skabichevsky,' squeaked the cat, for some reason pointing to his

Primus. Sofia Pavlovna inscribed this name too and pushed the ledger forward

for the two visitors to sign. Koroviev wrote ' Skabichevsky' opposite the

name ' Panayev' and Behemoth wrote ' Panayev ' opposite ' Skabichevsky '.

To Sofia Pavlovna's utter surprise Archibald Archibaldovich gave her a

seductive smile, led his guests to the best table on the far side of the

verandah where there was the most shade, where the sunlight danced round the

table through one of the gaps in the trellis. Blinking with perplexity,

Sofia Pavlovna stared for a long time at the two curious signatures.

The waiters were no less surprised. Archibald Archibaldovich personally

moved the chairs back from the table, invited Koroviev to be seated, winked

at one, whispered to the other, while two waiters fussed around the new

arrivals, one of whom put his Primus on the floor beside his reddish-brown

boot.

The old stained tabledoth vanished instantly from the table and

another, whiter than a bedouin's burnous, flashed through the air in a

crackle of starch as Archibald Archibaldovich whispered, softly, but most

expressively, into Koroviev's ear :

' What can I offer you? I've a rather special fillet of smoked sturgeon

... I managed to save it from the architectural congress banquet...'

' Er . . . just bring us some hors d'oeuvres . . .' boomed Koroviev

patronisingly, sprawling in his chair.

' Of course,' replied Archibald Archibaldovich, closing his eyes in

exquisite comprehension.

Seeing how the maitre d'hotel was treating these two dubious guests,

the waiters abandoned their suspicions and set about their work seriously.

One offered a match to Behemoth, who had taken a butt-end out of his pocket

and stuck it in his mouth, another advanced in a tinkle of green glass and

laid out tumblers, claret-glasses and those tall-stemmed white wine glasses

which are so perfect for drinking a sparkling wine under the awning-- or

rather, moving on in time, which used to be so perfect for drinking

sparkling wine under the verandah awning at Griboyedov.

' A little breast of grouse, perhaps? ' said Archibald Archibaldovich

in a musical purr. The guest in the shaky pince-nez thoroughly approved the

pirate captain's suggestion and beamed at him through his one useless lens.

Petrakov-Sukhovei, the essayist, was dining at the next table with his

wife and had just finished eating a pork chop. With typical writer's

curiosity he had noticed the fuss that Archibald Archibaldovich was making

and was extremely surprised. His wife, a most dignified lady, felt jealous

of the pirate's attention to Koroviev and tapped her glass with a spoon as a

sign of impatience . . . where's my ice-cream? What's happened to the

service? With a flattering smile at Madame Petrakov, Archibald

Archibaldovich sent a waiter to her and stayed with his two special

customers. Archibald Archibaldovich was not only intelligent;

he was at least as observant as any writer. He knew all about the show

at the Variety and much else besides ; he had heard, and unlike most people

he had not forgotten, the words' checks ' and ' cat'. Archibald

Archibaldovich had immediately guessed who his clients were and realising

this, he was not going to risk having an argument with them. And Sofia

Pavlovna had tried to stop them coming on to the verandah! Still, what else

could you expect from her. . . .

Haughtily spooning up her melting ice-cream, Madame Petrakov watched

disagreeably as the table, occupied by what appeared to be a couple of

scarecrows, was loaded with food as if by magic. A bowl of fresh caviar,

garnished with sparkling lettuce leaves . . . another moment, and a silver

ice-bucket appeared on a special little side-table . . .

Only when he had made sure that all was properly in hand and when the

waiters had brought a simmering chafing-dish, did Archibald Archibaldovich

allow himself to leave his two mysterious guests, and then only after

whispering to them:

' Please excuse me--I must go and attend to the grouse!'

He fled from the table and disappeared inside the restaurant. If anyone

had observed what Archibald Archibaldovich did next, they might have thought

it rather strange.

The maitre d'hotel did not make for the kitchen to attend to the

grouse, but instead went straight to the larder. Opening it with his key, he

locked himself in, lifted two heavy fillets of smoked sturgeon out of the

ice box, taking care not to dirty his shirt-cuffs, wrapped them in

newspaper, carefully tied them up with string and put them to one side. Then

he went next door to check whether his silk-lined overcoat and hat were

there, and only then did he pass on to the kitchen, where the chef was

carefully slicing the breast of grouse.

Odd though Archibald Archibaldovich's movements may have seemed, they

were not, and would only have seemed so to a superficial observer. His

actions were really quite logical. His knowledge of recent events and above

all his phenomenal sixth sense told the Griboyedov maitre d'hotel that

although his two guests' meal would be plentiful and delicious, it would be

extremely short. And this ex-buccaneer's sixth sense, which had never yet

played him false, did not let him down this time, either.

Just as Koroviev and Behemoth were clinking their second glass of

delicious, chilled, double-filtered Moscow vodka, a journalist called Boba

Kaudalupsky, famous in Moscow for knowing everything that was going on,

arrived on the verandah sweating with excitement and immediately sat down at

the Petrakovs' table. Dropping his bulging briefcase on the table, Boba put

his lips to Petrakov's ear and whispered some obviously fascinating piece of

news. Dying with curiosity, madame Petra-kov leaned her ear towards Boba's

thick, fleshy lips. With furtive glances the journalist whispered on and on,

just loud enough for occasional words to be heard :

' I promise you! . . . Here, on Sadovaya Street. . .! ' Boba lowered

his voice again. ' . . . the bullets couldn't hit it ... bullets . . .

paraffin . . . fire . . . bullets . . .'

' Well, as for liars who spread rumours like that,' came madame

Petrakov's contralto boom, a shade too loud for Boba's liking, ' they're the

ones who should be shot! And they would be if I had my way. What a lot of

dangerous rubbish! '

' It's not rubbish Antonia Porfiryevna,' exclaimed Boba, piqued at her

disbelief. He began hissing again: ' I tell you, bullets couldn't touch it!

... And now the building's on fire . . . they floated out through the air

... through the air!' whispered Boba, never suspecting that the people he

was talking about were sitting alongside him and thoroughly enjoying the

situation.

However, their enjoyment was soon cut short. Three men, tightly belted,

booted and armed with revolvers, dashed out of the indoor restaurant and on

to the verandah. The man in front roared:

С Don't move!' and instantly all three opened fire at the heads of

Koroviev and Behemoth. The two victims melted into the air and a sheet of

flame leaped up from the Primus to the awning. A gaping mouth with burning

edges appeared in the awning and began spreading in all directions. The fire

raced across it and reached the roof of Griboyedov House. Some bundles of

paper lying on the second-floor windowsill of the editor's office burst into

flame, which spread to a blind and then, as though someone had blown on it,

the fire was sucked, roaring, into the house.

A few seconds later the writers, their suppers abandoned, were

streaming along the asphalted paths leading to the iron railings along the

boulevard, where on Wednesday evening Ivan had climbed over to bring the

first incomprehensible news of disaster.

Having left in good time by a side door, without running and in no

hurry, like a captain forced to be the last to leave his flaming brig,

Archibald Archibaldovich calmly stood and watched it all. He wore his

silk-lined overcoat and two fillets of smoked sturgeon were tucked under his

arm.


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