Fictional use of real character http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/15/Avitabile_portrait.jpg+right
General Paolo Bartolomeo Avitabile (Abu Tabela) (25 October 1791 - 28 March 1850), was a Neapolitan soldier, mercenary and adventurer. A peasant's son born in Agerola, near Amalfi in Italy, he served in the Neapolitan militia during the Napoleonic wars. After Waterloo he drifted east like many other adventurous soldiers. He first served as a mercenary in Persia, before he was hired by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Punjab.
"He is, moreover, a frank, gay, and good-humoured person, as well as an excellent and skillfull officer."