The booming laughter of Orson Welles could be heard halfway
up the Calle Vallaresso. As big as a wardrobe, he always came
in with a massive thirst and hunger. He immediately polished off
two plates of sandwiches and gulped down two bottles of iced
Dom Perignon. Then he leaned back in his armchair and looked
around with an air of complete satisfaction. Affectedly, grouchy,
generous, muddling and messy, he often forgot to pay his bills.
Once Cipriani had to rush to the station the day he was leaving,
getting there just as the train was pulling out, and run alongside the long line of cars
until he reached the compartment taken by Orson Welles, who handed him a thick
wad of traveler's checks out of the window of the moving train. "Sign them, Cipriani,
with my name!" he cried. His roaring laughter (he was a man who managed to laugh
without taking his
cigar out of his mouth) rose over the clatter of the heavy wheels
over the tracks and was heard to echo until the train disappeared into the distance.