Yeshua exclaimed with conviction. 'It will never come! ' Pilate suddenly shouted, in a voice so terrible that Yeshua staggered back. Many years ago in the Valley of the Virgins Pilate had shouted in that same voice to his horsemen : ' Cut them down! Cut them down! They have caught the giant Muribellum!' And again he raised his parade-ground voice, barking out the words so that they would be heard in the garden : ' Criminal! Criminal! Criminal! ' Then lowering his voice he asked : ' Yeshua Ha-Notsri, do you believe in any gods?' 'God is one,' answered Yeshua. ' I believe in Him.' 'Then pray to him! Pray hard! However,' at this Pilate's voice fell again, ' it will do no good. Have you a wife? ‘asked Pilate with a sudden inexplicable access of depression. 'No, I am alone.' 'I hate this city,' the Procurator suddenly mumbled, hunching his shoulders as though from cold and wiping his hands as though washing them. ' If they had murdered you before your meeting with Judas of Karioth I really believe it would have been better.' 'You should let me go, the unexpected crackle and the fire-door started rattling in the draught, I felt slightly better. I rushed into the hall, switched on the light, found a bottle of white wine and began gulping it down from the bottle. This calmed my fright a little, at least enough to stop me from running to my landlord. Instead, I went back to the stove. I opened the fire-door. The heat began to warm my hands and face and I whispered: '" Something terrible has happened to me . . . Come, come, please come . . .!” 'But nobody came. The fire roared in the stove, rain whipped against the windows. Then I took the heavy typescript copies of the novel and my handwritten drafts out of the desk drawer and started to burn them. It was terribly hard to do because paper that has been written over in ink doesn't burn easily. Breaking my fingernails I tore up the manuscript books, stuffed them down between the logs and stoked the burning pages with the poker. Occasionally there was so much ash that it put the flames out, but I struggled with it until finally the whole novel, resisting fiercely the engulfing flames, left my face coated in ash, like the shade of a climbing vine, a plate of potage printaniere looking like a golden stain on the snow-white table-cloth? Do you remember, Ambrose? But of course you do--I can see from your lips you remember. Not just your salmon or your perch either--what about the snipe, the woodcock in season, the quail, the grouse? And the sparkling wines! But I digress, reader. At half past ten on the evening that Berlioz died at Patriarch's Ponds, only one upstairs room at Griboyedov was lit. In it sat twelve weary authors, gathered for a meeting and still waiting for Mikhail Alexandrovich. Sitting on chairs, on tables and even on the two window ledges, the management committee of MASSOLIT was suffering badly from the heat and stuffiness. Not a single fresh breeze penetrated the open window. Moscow was The Master and Margarita exuding the heat of the day accumulated in its asphalt and it was obvious that the night was not going to bring; any relief. There was a smell of onion coming from the restaurant kitchen in the cellar, everybody wanted a drink, everybody was nervous and irritable. 'I see you'd like to smoke,' said the stranger unexpectedly, turning to Bezdomny, ' what sort do you prefer? ' 'Do you mean you've got different sorts? ' glumly asked the poet, who had run out of cigarettes. 'Which do you prefer? ' repeated the mysterious stranger. 'Well, then " Our Brand ",' replied Bezdomny, irritated. The unknown man immediately pulled a cigarette case out of his pocket and offered it to Bezdomny. " Our Brand " . . .' The editor and the poet were not so much surprised by the fact that the cigarette case actually contained ' Our Brand' as by the cigarette case itself. It was of enormous dimensions, made of solid gold and on the inside of the cover a triangle of diamonds flashed with blue and white fire. Their reactions were different. Berlioz thought: ' No, he's a foreigner.' Bezdomny thought: ' What the hell is he . . .? ' The poet and the owner of the case lit their cigarettes and Berlioz, who did not smoke, refused. 'I shall refute his argument by saying' Berlioz decided to himself, ' that of course man is mortal, no one will argue with that. But the fact is that . . .' 'A quarter of an hour after she had left me there came a knock at my window . . .' The man was obviously very excited by what he was whispering into Ivan's ear. Now and again a spasm would cross his face. Fear and anger sparkled in his eyes. The narrator pointed in the direction of the moon, which had long ago disappeared from the balcony. Only when all the noises outside had stopped did the visitor move away from Ivan and speak louder : 'Yes, so there I stood, out in my little yard, one night in the middle of January, wearing the same overcoat but without any buttons now and I was freezing with cold. Behind me the lilac bush was buried in snowdrifts, below and in front of me were my feebly lit windows with drawn blinds. I knelt down to the first of them and listened--a gramophone was playing in my room. I could hear it but see nothing. After a slight pause I went out of the gate and into the street. A snowstorm was howling along it. A dog which ran between my legs frightened me, and to get away from it I crossed to the other side. They drove, singing. The passers-by hurrying past on their own business gave the lorries no more than a glance and took no notice, thinking that it was some works party going on an excursion out of town. They were certainly heading out of town, but not for an outing: they were bound for Professor Stravinsky's clinic. Half an hour later the distracted Vassily Stepanovich reached the accounts department hoping at last to be able to get rid of his large sum of money. Having learned from experience, he first gave a cautious glance into the long hall, where the cashiers sat behind frosted-glass windows with gilt markings. He found no sign of disturbance or upheaval. All was as quiet as it should be in such a respectable establishment. Vassily Stepanovich stuck his head through the window marked ' Paying In ', said good-day to the clerk and politely asked for a paying-in slip. 'What do you want? ' asked the clerk behind the window. The accountant looked amazed. 'I want to pay in, of course. I'm from the Variety.' 'One minute,' replied the clerk and instantly shut his little window. 'Funny! ' thought Vassily Stepanovich. This was the first time in my life, I’ve taken the beginning paragraphs from 2 weeks worth of spam and built an oddly cohesive story out of them.