Annie 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.