"The Chase" - Ch. 4 - from "The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov

Chapter Four

In chapter four we see the Devil's full disguise drop as Homeless begins to realize that this strange Professor is connected with his friend's death. He pursues him, but continues to be eluded through the streets of Moscow. We are also introduced to two other companions of the Devil, the "choirmaster" and a large black cat who walks on his hind legs. It's also confusing where these "intuitions" that Homeless is having as to the Professor's location are coming from. He suddenly seems to "know" exactly where he should search, but they always end up leading to some type of absurd situation for him. 

The Chase
After Berlioz is killed, his friend Homeless is in pure shock. One moment he is talking to him and having a conversation, a minute later he sees the man's head rolling from his body. He drops down on a bench and sits there almost paralyzed. Two women walk by and he hears them talking about a woman, Annushka, who had spilled sunflower oil from her trip from the market all on the platform by the train, and that this is what Berlioz must have slipped on. Homeless is even more shocked because he realizes that the Professor had muttered those words about Annushka and sunflower oil in his odd spell earlier in which he predicted that Berlioz would be beheaded by a woman. 1 "'Excuse me! But he did say the meeting wouldn't take place because Annushka had spilled the oil. And, if you please, it won't take place! What's more, he said straight out that Berlioz head would be cut off by a woman?! Yes, yes, yes! And the driver was a woman! What is all this, eh?!' There was not a grain of doubt left that the mysterious consultant had known beforehand the exact picture of the terrible death of Berlioz." 

Homeless then rushes up and runs back to where the Professor was to confront him. The Professor is still there but pretends that he now doesn't speak any Russian. With him is a man who helped point the way to Berlioz to the telephone in the station. The man tries to get in between Homeless and the Professor and to dissuade Homeless' agitated inquiry of the Professor. 2 Homeless tries to wrestle with the man, but then something strange happens, the man disappears into thin air. "Ivan attempted to grab the blackguard by the sleeve, but missed and caught precisely nothing: it was as if the choirmaster fell through the earth. Ivan gasped, looked into the distance, and saw the hateful stranger. He was already at the exit to Patriarch's Lane; moreover, he was not alone. The more than dubious choirmaster had managed to join him. But that was still not all: the third in this company proved to be a tom-cat, who appeared out of nowhere, huge as a hog, black as soot or as a rook, and with a desperate cavalryman's whiskers. The trio set off down Patriarch's Lane, the car walking on his hind legs." 3

Homeless tried to catch up with them, but the closer he got the farther away they got. To make matters worse, the three of them split up in different directions. 4 Homeless decides to continue to follow the Professor and they go street after street. Eventually Homeless looses him, but has a feeling, for some reason, that he went into a certain building. "Ivan Nikolaevich was perplexed, but not for long, because he suddenly realized that the professor must unfailingly be found in house no. 13, and most assuredly in apartment 47." So he knocks on the apartment door. A child comes and opens it without saying anything and walks away. Homeless runs to catch the Professor hiding in the bathroom, and bursts in on a woman showering. 5 Apparently she thought that he was the man she was having an affair with? (or maybe she is a prostitute of some sort). Homeless backs out of the house, but on his way he stops and takes two wedding candles and an icon, apparently from the woman's marriage (though it's not really clear why at this point). Homeless then has the bright idea that the Professor is at the Moscow River, and heads that way. 6

He actually decides to jump into the river. So he takes his clothes off and hands them to a homeless man to watch. When he returns from the swim the homeless man is gone, and so is his membership card to the Moscow Literature Society. He then is struck with a sense that Professor is at "Griboedov's," and begins to head that way, walking through the city in only he long stripped underwear with people staring and laughing at him. 7
1 - Bulgakov, Mikhail. The Master and Margarita. (New York. Penguin Books, 2016). Pg. 44
2 - 45
3 - 46
4 - 47
5 - 48
6 - 49
7 - 50