Colonial Backwoods Noir

photo copy 2Annie Proulx’s  “Rough Deeds” (New Yorker mag, June ’13) takes us to the heart of early 1700’s logging in the Northeast. The short story centers on a Frenchman named Duquet who amasses vast timber tracts (20,000 acres at 12¢/acre) during the era. While he and an associate are surveying the territory, they come across a crew of men cutting down their towering White Pines. One of the poachers meets the gruesome fate of Duquet’s ax through his skul. An owl witness’ the scene – a signal that the deed will later be repaid. Proulx’s Colonial backwoods noir brings the old growth forests alive.