Elias (dreaming) awoke in a palace.
The marble floors were smooth and hard. Polished. Cold like ice.
He looked around.
Flea-infested, ear-torn mongrel that he was, he had never been in a palace.
Mute and dumb and wild and skittish, he had not conversed with any man about them. He had not (probably) even heard or overheard the word: Palace.
And, being a plain and simple fool, he could not have conceived in his mind of what (or why) a palace was.
Thus he was greatly confused. But he was a curious fool and, accustomed to a life lived haphazardly in a cloud of great confusion, he rose to his feet, shook the dust from his hair (there was no dust) and began to walk.
Within the room, in a far corner, in view of wide-open doors which led to a sun-soaked terrace, was an alcove. Within the alcove the an upright chair. And upon the chair a young woman.
“Princess”, he said, with a voice like peppered honey.
At this signal he was removed from her presence. Grasped firmly by the upper arms by guards who had appeared as if from nowhere (he had not seen them). One rough, large hand upon the back of his neck and skull, another clamped across his mouth to spare the lady the embarrassment of commotion.
Then one sharp dig to his left hand side, three glancing kicks to the backs of his knees, and he was away.