In another Pilate novel chapter, the disciple Matthew runs to the desert as Yeshua is crucified. He decides to kill his master to spare him pain, but by the time he arrives, the executioner has already stabbed all three.
In Moscow, Berlioz' cousin has arrived in town to try to get hold of the apartment, but the demons whap him with a roast chicken and throw him out. The barman of the ill-starred theater shows up to ask after Woland, who tells him that he'll die of liver cancer within the year, so the poor man panics and runs off to the nearest doctor. He pays with magic rubles, the demons visit the doctor, and he ends up with leeches all over his head.
Now we move on to Margarita. She is quite a wealthy and lucky woman, married to a nice man with a giant apartment and plenty of money, but she doesn't love her husband and is miserable. Meeting the master is the event that brings her happiness, so when he disappears, she is ready to die until she meets Azazello. (He talks to her as she happens to observe Berlioz' funeral procession; the gossip is that his head disappeared.) Azazello first invites her to meet a distinguished foreigner, and she thinks he's accosting her, but when he tells her that the master is still alive, she's ready to do anything to find out more. He gives her a pot of ointment to apply that night.
|Margarita with her flowers|
Azazello takes Margarita to the apartment, which has turned into a massive house of luxury. Koroviev explains that Woland is to hold a great ball, and needs Margarita to play hostess. She happily agrees, and goes in to meet Woland, who is holding court in bed, with Hella rubbing ointment into his sore knee (the devil has a limp, you know). Margarita hits it off wonderfully with the whole crew, and it's time for the ball.
Well, there's lots more chaos in Moscow, but we also move on to Margarita's storyline and her perfect willingness to fall in with Woland's plans--at first for the sake of the master (actually just for the hope of news of him, not in hopes of actually helping him) and then because she enjoys the whole thing so much. I wonder what will happen to her?
Next week: chapters 23-26!