The words came out in a horse whisper, but they were loud and distinct, confident and undefeated. Adam felt like cheering. He heard the Monsignor exclaim, softly and delightfully, “Oh grand, grand, grand!” And Adam did not even look at his father-in-law. Instead, he watched his uncle: Skeffington was turning his head slowly, looking at them all. After a moment, he said, quite distinctly, “Francis?”
There was no answer. Then agonized, Adam said, “He just went out for a moment, Uncle Frank. He’ll be right back.”
“He has a grand sense of timing,” Skeffington said. The whisper now was fainter; Skeffington slipped back, and lay flat once more. From this position his head turned, very slowly, to look at them all again. When he came to Maeve, he paused and smiled; his lips parted and moved, as though he were speaking; the words not audible. His head continued to turn, and he stopped when he came to Adam. Uncle and nephew looked at each other; for one moment, no one else might have been in the room. Then Skeffington smiled again–there was just a faint flicker of his eyelid, and he spoke his last words to Adam.
“See you around,” he whispered.
The whisper was barely audible, but Adam heard. Skeffington’s eyes seemed now to snap shut; his head turned back with a queer, abrupt jerk; his body stiffened; and one arm hung rigidly over the side of the bed, pointing to the floor.
Frank Skeffington was dead.
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