an animal organism in the early stages of growth
The day came when he implanted the tiny
embryos in the brood cows.
undamaged in any way
“It’s a Matteo Alacran. They’re always left
sadness resulting from being forsaken or abandoned
Matt was swept with such an intense feeling of
desolation, he thought he would die.
give temporarily; let have for a limited time
“I love you more than anything in the world,” the woman said quickly. “Never forget that. But you were only
loaned to me, mi vida.”
Matt had trouble understanding the word
loaned. It seemed to mean something you gave away for a little while—which meant that whoever
loaned him would want him back.
characterized by great firmness of purpose
He didn’t know what he would say to the strange children if they appeared again, but he was
determined to try to talk to them.
sudden shock or dismay that causes confusion
Matt stared at the scene with
consternation. That wasn’t the result he wanted at all. Maria was crying, Emilia looked angry, and Steven had turned his back on both of them.
“Wait! I can just make it out '
Property of'—the writing is so tiny!—'
Property of the Alacran Estate.'”
a living organism characterized by voluntary movement
“You idiot! You need a vet for this little
beast!” the man roared.
spot, stain, or pollute
“How dare you
defile this house?”
a complex or critical or unusual difficulty
I should have known what he—it—was the minute I saw it. No servant would be allowed to keep a child or live away from the others. Benito told me about the
situation, only I thought it was living somewhere else. In a zoo, maybe. Wherever those things are kept.
a genetically identical organism derived from a single cell
clone,” said Steven.
Emilia gasped. “He can’t be! He doesn’t—I’ve seen
clones. They’re horrible! They drool and mess their pants. They make animal noises.”
someone who is trained in a specific process
“This one’s different. Benito told me.
Technicians are supposed to destroy the minds at birth—it’s the law. But El Patron wanted his to grow up like a real boy. He’s so rich, he can break any law he wants.”
filthy clone,” the woman objected.
in a manner showing anger at something unjust or wrong
indignantly said he never bit people.
able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering
Emilia says clones are as
vicious as werewolves.
stain with indelible color
It had something to do with being a clone and also, perhaps, with the writing on his foot. Matt had once asked Celia about the words on his foot, and she said it was something they put on babies to keep them from getting lost. He’d assumed everyone was
tattooed. From Steven’s reaction, it seemed everyone wasn’t.
a living organism characterized by voluntary movement
“So you aren’t housebroken, you little
brute,” she snarled, kicking aside the sodden newspapers.
sad beyond comforting; incapable of being soothed
He pulled on the window bars. They were as firmly attached as ever. He sat disconsolately on the floor.
feeling guilt or embarrassment or remorse
When he had to use the newspapers in the corner, he felt dirty and
an implement for practical use
Matt was given no
utensils and had to put his face in the bowl like a dog.
causing shock, dismay, or horror
Meanwhile the smell in the room became
a distinctive odor that is offensively unpleasant
Rosa cleaned the corner every day, but the
stench clung to the cement.
a structure or object that impedes free movement
They built a low
barrier across the door. Matt watched with interest. The
barrier was as high as his waist—not tall enough to keep him in, but high enough to slow him down if he tried to escape.
the state of health
You’re a very strange woman, Rosa, but I have to admit the beast’s in good
showing a brooding ill humor
sullen, evil-tempered animal,” she said.
a state of social isolation
Long days of
solitude in Celia’s house had taught him how to be quiet, and any attention from Willum or Rosa could result in pain.
The days passed with
agonizing slowness, followed by nights of misery.
a secret store of valuables or money
caches of food under the sawdust, not to eat later, but to attract bugs.
wearing or provided with clothing
clad only in a pair of shorts, so the peas landed on his bare skin.
clean with hard rubbing
scoured him until he was pink, dried him with a big, fluffy towel, and tried to get a comb through his tangled hair.
causing fear or dread or terror
It was so bright and cheerful, it raised his spirits in spite of Rosa’s
a state of poor nourishment
“He’s suffering from mild
malnutrition,” the doctor said.
be attractive to
El Patron’s face seemed oddly familiar, and his hands—thin and blue-veined—had a shape that
appealed to Matt in some deep way.
move about or proceed hurriedly
“People from Durango are called alacranes—scorpions—because there are so many of them
scurrying around. When I made my first million, I took that as my name: Matteo Alacran. It’s your name too.”
get over an illness or shock
“Furball was gone only two days. Matt was trapped for six months. It takes time to
hate coupled with disgust
Mr. Alacran looked at Matt with undisguised
unsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment
“Anyone—anyone—who harms Matt will be dealt with severely. Do I make myself clear?”
give or restore confidence in
Sometimes Matt really did have trouble breathing, but sometimes he only wanted to
reassure himself that someone cared for him.
a large diurnal bird of prey feeding chiefly on carrion
I don’t know much about this clone business—I was twelve the last time I darkened a schoolroom door—but I know you’re a copy of him. It’s like the old
vulture was being given a second chance.
get or find back; recover the use of
“My name is Matteo Alacran,” Matt said, testing his newly