Magazine for tourists

Table of contents

Kinds of tourism

Excursion (author BV Emelyanov)


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

 1. never talk to strangers
 Pontius pilate
 The seventh proof
 The pursuit
 The affair at griboyedov
 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
 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
Charlotte bronte. jane eyre

F. scott fitzgerald / the great gatsby

Jerome klapka jerome / three men in a boat

     Mikhail bulgakov. the master and margarita
          The seventh proof

The Seventh Proof

' Yes, it was about ten o'clock in the morning, my dear Ivan

Nikolayich,' said the professor.

The poet drew his hand across his face like a man who has just woken up

and noticed that it was now evening. The water in the pond had turned black,

a little boat was gliding across it and he could hear the splash of an oar

and a girl's laughter in the boat. People were beginning to appear in the

avenues and were sitting on the benches on all sides of the square except on

the side where our friends were talking.

Over Moscow it was as if the sky had blossomed : a clear, full moon had

risen, still white and not yet golden. It was much less stuffy and the

voices under the lime trees now had an even-tide softness.

' Why didn't I notice what a long story he's been telling us? ' thought

Bezdomny in amazement. ' It's evening already! Perhaps he hasn't told it at

all but I simply fell asleep and dreamed it?'

But if the professor had not told the story Berlioz must have been

having the identical dream because he said, gazing attentively into the

stranger's face :

' Your story is extremely interesting, professor, but it diners

completely from the accounts in the gospels.'

' But surely,' replied the professor with a condescending smile, ' you

of all people must realise that absolutely nothing written in the gospels

actually happened. If you want to regard the gospels as a proper historical

source . . .' He smiled again and Berlioz was silenced. He had just been

saying exactly the same thing to Bezdomny on their walk from Bronnaya Street

to Patriarch's Ponds.

' I agree,' answered Berlioz, ' but I'm afraid that no one is in a

position to prove the authenticity of your version either.'

' Oh yes! I can easily confirm it! ' rejoined the professor with great

confidence, lapsing into his foreign accent and mysteriously beckoning the

two friends closer. They bent towards him from both sides and he began, this

time without a trace of his accent which seemed to come and go without rhyme

or reason :

' The fact is . . .' here the professor glanced round nervously and

dropped his voice to a whisper, ' I was there myself. On the balcony with

Pontius Pilate, in the garden when he talked to Caiaphas and on the

platform, but secretly, incognito so to speak, so don't breathe a word of it

to anyone and please keep it an absolute secret, sshhh . . .'

There was silence. Berlioz went pale.

' How . . . how long did you say you'd been in Moscow? ' he asked in a

shaky voice.

' I have just this minute arrived in Moscow,' replied the professor,

slightly disconcerted. Only then did it occur to the two friends to look him

properly in the eyes. They saw that his green left eye was completely mad,

his right eye black, expressionless and dead.

' That explains it all,' thought Berlioz perplexedly. ' He's some mad

German who's just arrived or else he's suddenly gone out of his mind here at

Patriarch's. What an extraordinary business! ' This really seemed to account

for everything--the mysterious breakfast with the philosopher Kant, the

idiotic ramblings about sunflower-seed oil and Anna, the prediction about

Berlioz's head being cut off and all the rest: the professor was a lunatic.

Berlioz at once started to think what they ought to do. Leaning back on

the bench he winked at Bezdomny behind the professor's back, meaning '

Humour him! ' But the poet, now thoroughly confused, failed to understand

the signal.

' Yes, yes, yes,' said Berlioz with great animation. ' It's quite

possible, of course. Even probable--Pontius Pilate, the balcony, and so on.

. . . Have you come here alone or with your wife? '

' Alone, alone, I am always alone,' replied the professor bitterly.

' But where is your luggage, professor?' asked Berlioz cunningly. ' At

the Metropole? Where are you staying? '

' Where am I staying? Nowhere. . . .' answered the mad German, staring

moodily around Patriarch's Ponds with his g:reen eye

' What! . . . But . . . where are you going to live? '

' In your flat,' the lunatic suddenly replied casually and winked.

' I'm ... I should be delighted . . .' stuttered Berlioz, : ‘but I'm

afraid you wouldn't be very comfortable at my place . . - the rooms at the

Metropole are excellent, it's a first-class hotel . . .'

' And the devil doesn't exist either, I suppose? ' the madman suddenly

enquired cheerfully of Ivan Nikolayich.

' And the devil . . .'

' Don't contradict him,' mouthed Berlioz silently, leaning back and

grimacing behind the professor's back.

' There's no such thing as the devil! ' Ivan Nikolayich burst out,

hopelessly muddled by all this dumb show, ruining all Berlioz's plans by

shouting: ' And stop playing the amateur psychologist! '

At this the lunatic gave such a laugh that it startled the sparrows out

of the tree above them.

' Well now, that is interesting,' said the professor, quaking with

laughter. ' Whatever I ask you about--it doesn't exist! ' He suddenly

stopped laughing and with a typical madman's reaction he immediately went to

the other extreme, shouting angrily and harshly : ' So you think the devil

doesn't exist? '

' Calm down, calm down, calm down, professor,' stammered Berlioz,

frightened of exciting this lunatic. ' You stay here a minute with comrade

Bezdomny while I run round the corner and make a 'phone call and then we'll

take you where you want to go. You don't know your way around town, sitter

all... .' Berlioz's plan was obviously right--to run to the nearest

telephone box and tell the Aliens' Bureau that there was a foreign professor

sitting at Patriarch's Ponds who was clearly insane. Something had to be

done or there might be a nasty scene.

' Telephone? Of course, go and telephone if you want to,' agreed the

lunatic sadly, and then suddenly begged with passion :

' But please--as a farewell request--at least say you believe in the

devil! I won't ask anything more of you. Don't forget that there's still the

seventh proof--the soundest! And it's just about to be demonstrated to you!


' All right, all right,' said Berlioz pretending to agree. With a wink

to the wretched Bezdomny, who by no means relished the thought of keeping

watch on this crazy German, he rushed towards the park gates at the corner

of Bronnaya and Yermolay-evsky Streets.

At once the professor seemed to recover his reason and good spirits.

' Mikhail Alexandrovich! ' he shouted after Berlioz, who shuddered as

he turned round and then remembered that the professor could have learned

his name from a newspaper.

The professor, cupping his hands into a trumpet, shouted :

' Wouldn't you like me to send a telegram to your uncle in Kiev? '

Another shock--how did this madman know that he had an uncle in Kiev?

Nobody had ever put that in any newspaper. Could Bezdomny be right about him

after all? And what about those phoney-looking documents of his? Definitely

a weird character . . . ring up, ring up the Bureau at once . . . they'll

come and sort it all out in no time.

Without waiting to hear any more, Berlioz ran on.

At the park gates leading into Bronnaya Street, the identical man, whom

a short while ago the editor had seen materialise out of a mirage, got up

from a bench and walked toward him. This time, however, he was not made of

air but of flesh and blood. In the early twilight Berlioz could clearly

distinguish his feathery little moustache, his little eyes, mocking and half

drunk, his check trousers pulled up so tight that his dirty white socks were


Mikhail Alexandrovich stopped, but dismissed it as a ridiculous

coincidence. He had in any case no time to stop and puzzle it out now.

' Are you looking for the turnstile, sir? ' enquired the check-clad man

in a quavering tenor. ' This way, please! Straight on for the exit. How

about the price of a drink for showing you the way, sir? ... church

choirmaster out of work, sir ... need a helping hand, sir. . . .' Bending

double, the weird creature pulled off his jockey cap in a sweeping gesture.

Without stopping to listen to the choirmaster's begging and whining,

Berlioz ran to the turnstile and pushed it. Having passed through he was

just about to step off the pavement and cross the tramlines when a white and

red light flashed in his face and the pedestrian signal lit up with the

words ' Stop! Tramway!' A tram rolled into view, rocking slightly along the

newly-laid track that ran down Yermolayevsky Street and into Bronnaya. As it

turned to join the main line it suddenly switched its inside lights on,

hooted and accelerated.

Although he was standing in safety, the cautious Berlioz decided to

retreat behind the railings. He put his hand on the turnstile and took a

step backwards. He missed his grip and his foot slipped on the cobbles as

inexorably as though on ice. As it slid towards the tramlines his other leg

gave way and Berlioz was thrown across the track. Grabbing wildly, Berlioz

fell prone. He struck his head violently on the cobblestones and the gilded

moon flashed hazily across his vision. He just had time to turn on his back,

drawing his legs up to his stomach with a frenzied movement and as he turned

over he saw the woman tram-driver's face, white with horror above her red

necktie, as she bore down on him with irresistible force and speed. Berlioz

made no sound, but all round him the street rang with the desperate shrieks

of women's voices. The driver grabbed the electric brake, the car pitched

forward, jumped the rails and with a tinkling crash the glass broke in all

its windows. At this moment Berlioz heard a despairing voice: ' Oh, no . .

.! ' Once more and for the last time the moon flashed before his eyes but it

split into fragments and then went black.

Berlioz vanished from sight under the tramcar and a round, dark object

rolled across the cobbles, over the kerbstone and bounced along the


It was a severed head.

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