E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Outwitted sharpers. A rook is a sharper, and a rookery the place of resort for sharpers. A rook is the opposite of a pigeon; a rook cheats, a pigeon is the one cheated.
This light, young, gay in appearance, the thoughtless youth of wit and pleasurethe pigeon rather than the rookbut the heart the same sly, shrewd, cold-blooded calculator.Sir W. Scott: Peveril of the Peak, chap. xxviii.