Bandini meets Camilla in Chapter 4 of Ask the Dust. He spends his last nickel on a cup of coffee at a bar where Camilla works as a waitress. Bandini feels that Camilla is laughing at him, and so he does his best to insult her. Ultimately, Camilla tells Bandini that she hates him. Bandini can't stop thinking about her anger and disdain and goes back the next day with an autographed copy of his story to give her.
Bandini, however, can't seem to decide how he wants to approach her. First he calls her a "Mayan Princess" in the inscription of his story. Then he decides that such a phrase won't "impress that kind of girl," so he instead writes, "Dear Ragged Shoes." And so begins Arturo's love-hate obsession with Camilla.