By Marc Davis
Two-Fisted Birdwatcher is pleased to publish a third guest essay by Marc Davis. Marc is a prolific writer; a novelist, journalist, and two-fisted observer of all things, including historical events and the players in them, big and small.
Here’s something to consider for The Two-Fisted Birdwatcher: It’s from an imaginary book (which doesn’t exist—yet), that I’ve titled “The Secret History of Birds.”
When Napoleon was defeated by Wellington at Waterloo in 1815, a man named Reuter was on the scene and sent a homing pigeon to Baron Rothschild in London, announcing the British victory.
Rothschild, one of the five brothers of the banking dynasty, proceeded to the London exchange and started selling the Pound Sterling, and shares in British companies.
Traders on the floor saw Rothschild dumping everything and assumed that Napoleon had been victorious. But the wily Rothschild knew otherwise. So as the market crashed and fell to near zero prices in the ensuing panic, Rothschild’s agents were secretly buying up the depressed equities and currencies.
When word finally arrived in London via horse and carriage that Napoleon had been beaten, share prices soared and Rothschild made another fortune when he sold everything at a huge profit.
That man named Reuter was the progenitor of the international Thomson Reuters News Service.
Reuter’s bird which brought Rothschild the news remains nameless and uncelebrated. Until now.