|By this time it was abundantly clear to Ernie that SPECTRE had completely blown up in his whiskers. Between the gross incompetence of his operatives and the outrageous overhead required to manage such large-scale operations, the evil cat's empire had simply collapsed under its own weight. The lesson was not lost on the cat mastermind, and in proceeding to rebuild a new criminal organization, he chose to scale back dramatically.|
This time Ernie reinvented himself as the Count de Bleuchamp and relocated to a chalet in a comparatively safe locale, capitalizing on both the protection of Switzerland's neutrality and the sheer remoteness of the Alps. He converted the former restaurant at Piz Gloria into an allergy clinic and set about organizing a whole new cadre of minions.
This time, the cat left little to chance — gone was the top-heavy bureaucracy of SPECTRE and its many unreliable agents. In its place, Ernie hand-picked a small but loyal army of simple thugs, heavies and trigger-men all, and placed them under the immediate supervision of his sole management-level operative, a spinster and noted cat fancier named Irma Bunt. Satisfied with the simplicity and reliability of his new organization, he carefully selected a much more durable, level-headed, and even-tempered host. What this new "Blofeld" puppet lacked in earlobes, he made up in wit and humor, charming his lovely clinic guests, enjoying the finer things in life, and finally allowing Ernie his full range of expression.
Confident in the strength and competence of his new host, Ernie began to relax a bit, allowing himself to enjoy his semi-reclusive life in the Alps. He once again decorated for comfort and homeyness (going so far as to festoon his new lair with a Christmas tree), he took up smoking and winter sports, even had a bobsled course put in. Unfortunately, just as he was ready to put his latest scheme into operation (which, it must be noted, included a play for a full pardon for past crimes), Ernie was tripped up not by the incompetence of underlings, but by his own vanity. In an attempt to solidify his new identity, and perhaps imagining himself in an aristocratic post-criminal life, he sought official recognition of his title as the Count de Bleuchamp, which brought the attentions of a most tiresome British agent raining down on him once again. Emboldened by his hardy new host, Ernie's new Blofeld made quite a fight of it, but once again, the encounter with Bond left Ernie's puppet and mountain fortress damaged beyond repair.
In retaliation, Ernie inhabited the psyche of Irma Bunt herself and personally put a serious damper on Bond's honeymoon...
"Bond's 'disguise' is glasses and a skirt? Excellent. Send him in."
"A tree. I've been undone by
a friggin' tree?!"
"Well, a fat lot of help you
turned out to be."