Blofeld intervened gently: “But don’t we import narcotics over the border?”
“Yes,” replied Romney as if talking to a child. “And so do our competitors. Porous borders allow anyone to bring narcotics into America. We want the U.S. government to control the borders because we intend to control the U.S. government. When we do, SPECTRE will be the only narcotics import-export business in the Americas. And our business will be perfectly legal even if it’s illegal.”
Blofeld sneered. “You call those master-plans, Number Two? Cigarettes? Fast-food outlets? Border fences? Where are the death rays from outer space? The colonies on the moon? The climate-change accelerators? I insist that you be more realistic. Do not try our patience any further.”
Bond watched Romney’s face. It remained quite expressionless. But his fingers tapped out a curious tattoo like a Morse code on the priceless Liberty rhinoceros-horn coffee table by his side.
Even as he tapped, the white cat on Blofeld’s lap jumped at his master’s neck and savagely tore off a chunk of the tender flesh. Blofeld fell soundlessly forward onto the floor, blood gushing from his severed artery, life ebbing quickly from his body, his Anderson & Cooper Savile Row jacket ruined beyond repair. The white cat stepped delicately over the pool of his blood, trotted across the bridge over the fish pond, and consented to be picked up by Romney and fed some smoked piranha.
“Gentlemen,” Romney said, covering up the awkward silence.
“Ladies,” he nodded to Frenchie and Bond.
“Let’s not waste time on a eulogy. We’ll go straight to item two on the agenda — our policy on nuclear proliferation. Who handles that? Oh yes, Osama, welcome back. May I offer condolences to the family of your double, and also congratulations on your own plastic surgery? Not even Hillary could tell the difference.”
The others applauded. Bond glanced around, looking for an exit strategy. But he knew he would never get the knack of these high heels. And the ballot boxes, piled high on all sides, blocked every escape route.
An excerpt from the forthcoming You Only Vote Twice.
— John O’Sullivan is editor-at-large of National Review.