You can't make this stuff up, or: war, where it really comes from

You want to write historical fiction, all you have to do is read history. I was doing a bit of research on counterfeiting and I came across this tidbit on Wikipedia:

In 1926 a high-profile counterfeit scandal came to light in Hungary, when several people were arrested in the Netherlands while attempting to procure 10 million francs worth of fake French 1000-franc bills which had been produced in Hungary; after 3 years, the state-sponsored industrial scale counterfeit operation had finally collapsed. The League of Nations’ investigation found Hungary’s motives were to avenge its post-WWI territorial losses (blamed on Georges Clemenceau) and to use profits from the counterfeiting business to boost a militarist, border-revisionist ideology. Germany and Austria had an active role in the conspiracy, which required special machinery. The quality of fake bills was still substandard however, due to France’s use of exotic raw paper material imported from its colonies.

I find this intriguing. Substitute names of kids for names of countries and it sounds like a squabble on the playground. Hungary (Jimmy) is mad at Peter (France) because Peter beat him up and took a lot of his stuff. Marty (Germany) and Moe (Austria) hate Peter too, so when Jimmy tells them about this plan he’s got to get even, they volunteer to help. See, they’re going to fool Peter into thinking he’s got like, more money in his pocket than anybody else by putting pebbles in his there when he’s not looking. While Peter is busy bragging about all his money Jimmy’s going to sneak in and steal back the stuff Peter took from him. And maybe some stuff for Marty and Moe, too. But then Jimmy gets cocky and he overdoes it, puts too many pebbles in Peter’s pocket so his pants fall down, the pocket rips and everything falls out, and then the jig is up.

Maybe all wars could be recast this way. Maybe it’s all about pulling the other guy’s pants down and running off with his stuff. And of course, killing people.

There was another case history which really, if you used it in a historical novel you’d have some trouble because the average person would declare it unlikely. I’ll post that later.

PS I am feeling a lot better, than you for your kind words. And also about the beauteous Girlchild who indeed doesn’t believe she’s anything to look at all, and hates her glorious hair.

Oh and: tomorrow, the announcement of the winner of the rewrite this! contest.

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