The story (continued)

English > The novel > The story (continued)


The police is investigating what happened in the Variety Theatre. The chervontsi bills that whirled over the audience the day before, appear to be changed into labels from seltzer bottles.

Woland and his group are still raising hell in Moscow. They intimidate Maksimilian Andreyevitch Poplavsky, Berlioz' uncle who came from Kiev hoping to take over the apartment of his cousin in Moscow. And they announce to the barman of the Variety Theatre, Andrei Fokitch Sokov, that he's going to die in nine months, next February, of liver cancer, in the clinic of the First Moscow State University, in ward number four. He visits a doctor who later finds out that the money that Sokov paid to him (chervontsi bills from Woland's show), had changed into «labels from bottles of Abrau-Durso wine».

«What other prodigies occurred in Moscow that night we do not know and certainly will not try to find out - especially as it has come time for us to go on to the second part of this truthful narrative», Bulgakov writes. And then he adds: «За мной, читатель!» or «Follow me, reader!». Time for book II...

Book two

Margarita makes her entry. She's worried about her beloved one, the master, and she reads what's left over of his novel. Then she goes to the Alexander Garden. Sitting on one of the benches under the Kremlin wall, settled in such a way that she could see the Manege, she's a witness of Berlioz' funeral and she meets Azazello. He organises a meeting between Margarita and Woland. He offers some cream to Margarita and tells her that she will feel much better when she uses it. Margarita rubs it all over her body and becomes a witch. Azazello contacts her again and tells her to fly to the river in order to meet Woland. Totally naked on her broom, she flies over the city and on her way in the Dramlit building she destroys the apartment of Latunski, the man she holds responsible for the master's misery. Her housemaid Natasha used the cream too, so became a witch too and follows Margarita in the air. She's flying on a pig, which appears to be Nikolay Ivanovich, her downstairs neighbour.

The threesome meets Woland and his disciples, and Satan's ball starts with Margarita as the hostess. A multicoloured parade of dead celebrities and dregs of society enters the hall, and the highlight of the evening is the execution of Baron Meigel, an employee of the Spectacles Commission, in charge of acquainting foreigners with places of interest in the capital and who is accused by Woland of being a stool-pigeon and a spy.

Woland orders Margarita to drink Meigel's blood, she opens her eyes when the ball is over. Woland tells her that she may make a wish. She wants to be reunited again with the master. And so it happens.

At first the master is somewhat confused but soon he realises that he's back again with the woman he loves. Woland appears to have a copy of the complete text of the master's manuscript, although he had put it into the fire. Then Woland proposes to the master and Margarita, and to some other characters as Nikolay Ivanovitch and Varenukha, to return to the life they desire. Natasha chooses for remaining a witch.

And the story of Pilate continues too... he meets the chief of the secret police, Aphranius. He supposes that Yehuda of Kerioth, the man who betrayed Yeshua will be killed. And so it happens. In a meeting with Levi, Pilate admits that he did it himself.


In Moscow the investigation of the strange events caused by Woland and his gang are continued by «a certain Moscow institution». The enquiry «most regrettably, produced no results»: Thousands of spectators, the whole staff of the Variety, and finally Arkady Apollonovich Sempleyarov,, a most educated man, had seen this magician, as well as his thrice-cursed assistants, and yet it was absolutely impossible to find him anywhere. One character after the other gets arrested, some are without a trace, unbelievable rumours are spread over the city.

A «big company of men in civilian clothes» bursts in on apartment 50, where Korovyev and Azazello are having breakfast. It comes to a gunfight between the officers and Behemoth but it's noteworthy that no one gets hurt. The building goes up in flames though, and there flew out of the fifth-storey window three dark, apparently male silhouettes and one silhouette of a naked woman... Korovyev and Behemoth have their last adventures in Torgsin, a store where only hard currency can be used. They put the place in an uproar again and cause fire with a primus. A little later they want to enter Griboedov where they want to have dinner, but when three men with guns try to get in, they start a fire there too.

While Woland is looking over the city from a terrace, Matthew Levi shows up. He comes to Woland with a message from Yeshua: he asks to offer «peace» to themaster. Woland agrees, and Azazello offers poisoned wine to the master and Margarita. Their bodies die and the couple flies away on black horses, accompanied by demonic creatures. When they fly over doctor Stravinsky's hospital they stop to say goodbye to Ivan. The master entrusts him the mission to write a sequel about «him», because he will «be occupied with other things». «Farewell, disciple», he says before he disappears with Margarita.

On Sparrow Hills, the master and Margarita say goodbye to the city and the riders rise into the air and gallop. During the flight, the satanic creatures take on their original form again. After a while they see a man and a dog. Woland says this man is the hero of the master's novel: Pontius Pilate. He says that Pilate has been sitting on this platform for about two thousand years together with his dog Banga. Woland allows the master to set Pilate free from his eternal insomnia by finishing his story with one phrase. And the master cried out: «You're free! You're free! He's waiting for you!» Pilate and Banga can leave their place to be with Yeshua.

Then Woland and his troup are gone forever. The master and Margarita go to their «eternal little house with Venetian windows and a twisting vine which climbs right up to the roof». It is their home, their eternal home.

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