"Royce is one of the most fascinating people in the world," Marilyn says. "I've met a lot of wonderful people through her, and she's at the top of that list. She's been very loyal, entertaining and generous -- she's given me a lot of clothes and jewelry." As evidence, she wears a luxurious blond fox-fur wrap and matching hat given to her by Royce, who calls Marilyn "a marvelous woman and wonderful friend."
As the two women finish their lunch, a hawk suddenly wheels 20 feet beyond a window of the restaurant, a sinister yet beautiful creature whose dusky feathers reflect none of the California sun. There is something hypnotic about the bird of prey, something about its unrepentant darkness that reaches back into primal memory, to a time before elegance and glamour were dreamt into existence.
"That's gorgeous," Royce says. "I want him, I'll feed him. Birds take to me, I love him, I want to adopt -- oh, this terrible paper tablecloth!"