Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy, the chair of the Sadovaya street tenants’ association who was earlier arrested for holding foreign currency, is now a patient in the same clinic as Ivan and the master. Before that, Nikanor had been interrogated and vehemently defended himself against all charges, all the while frightened by apparitions of Koroviev that only he could see. When the authorities followed up his story and went to apartment 50, they found no-one there.
This opening confirms the earlier suggestion that the man complaining of foreign currency in his vent is indeed Nikanor Ivanovich Bosoy. It’s not clear if his visions of Koroviev are real or not but given that Koroviev is fond of appearing in such a manner (e.g. chapter 4).
Upon arrival at the clinic, the agitated Nikanor was injected with a sedative. He then calmed down and, falling asleep, dreamed a convoluted dream. In this, Nikanor was again interrogated about his foreign currency, but in a more theatrical, ceremonial setting, with a large audience, trumpet fanfare, and a flamboyant master of ceremonies.
Nikanor’s dream is an expression of his guilt, his shame at being caught amplified by the theatrical setting. The purpose of the dream-show, like the earlier one at the Variety, is both the exposure of people’s wrongdoing and a way of rendering the climate of fear and suspicion in the Soviet Union.
Nikanor’s distress at his dream woke Ivan up. The doctor came by to calm Ivan, and as the latter fell back to sleep he began to dream “that the sun was already going down over Bald Mountain, and the mountain was cordoned off by a double cordon…”
The story shifts from one dream to another, setting up the next chapter of Pilate narrative. This dream may be inspired by the master’s visit in chapter 13, but the continuity from one Pilate section to another suggests that there is more to it than dreaming.