Vladimir Putinovsky was from a family that came close to being annihilated by the Cossacks. However, he and his younger sister Magdalena immigrated to Italy before being caught up by the murderers following their dreaded orders.
His sister married a fat restaurant owner in Venice and learned how to speak Italian like a native. Vladimir spoke it but not very well and was the butt of a lot of jokes about his Russian accent wherever he went. Eventually, he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion for a five year stint in order to get a valid French passport for travel in Europe and later to the United States if he was still alive.
Of course, he wound up in Algeria and managed to get shot in both legs by a sniper who was aiming for his head. He hobbled around Marseilles for six months before they discharged him for medical reasons considering he would be unable to jump out of planes or run very fast with a pair of damaged knees. He did get a stipend and a nice letter of appreciation for his service to France as well as his desired passport.
He was unable to get a clear entry order for the United States because he was unable to furnish documentation prior to his service to France. The travel clerk did make arrangements for him to go to Northern Ireland to fill a position as a mortuary attendant trainee which was a job no sensible Irishman had any liking for.
The job was not as bad as he thought it would be. A lot of the corpses were young people leaving this world before their time either from the drink or from revenge taken by one side or the other of the warring parties in those troubled times. He did not take much of an interest in the religious nuances of the struggle between the Catholics and the IRA organization on one side and the Ulstermen Protestants on the other. He knew the British were supposed to be "peacekeepers" but in fact they managed to create most of the casualties with their superior firepower. His landlady was a grossly overweight middle-aged lady with six children and a missing husband supposedly working secretly with the IRA faction. He disappeared in the middle of the night on the short walk home from the nearby pub that catered to the Catholic population. It was an anti-British oasis of sorts in the middle of a sea of dedicated Ulstermen determined to keep the Northern Counties free from Papist influence.
Even though he spoke Italian with a noticeable Russian accent, his grasp of the French language was quite good and he managed to pick up a fair amount of underworld slang from his Foreign Legion cohorts to make him sound like a French gangster straight out of a dated film with a sort of gritty realism that made strangers steer clear not knowing exactly what sort of animal he really was. His English was fortunately Irish sounding because he had only associated with his funeral parlor co-workers and his landlady and her sisters who all thought him to be a fine figure of a man.
The landlady whose name was Maureen Connelly took him between her legs whenever he asked for a go because she was lonely and had no male visitors interested in giving her a seventh child. In fact, he was well taken care of in the "getting laid" department because her two sisters, Becky and Rose dropped their knickers for him on Maureen's say so and her report that he had "a darling of a dick". He liked all three sisters but had to admit that Rose was the one with the real sex appeal even though she was the oldest of the three.
Rose had never married and she was about as promiscuous as an Irish female can get under the watchful eye of the Church and the local "block watchers" who monitored all such activities to make certain the womenfolk did not consort with members of the other side of the religious conflict. Vladimir liked her best of the three free-loving sisters but she expressed the opinion that he was not "dirty minded" enough for her satisfaction. At first, it made him laugh but after she turned him down a couple of times for some dodgy looking fellows who looked like trouble, he kept his cum for the other two sisters who were more than happy to receive it.
Maureen told him,
"Better you stay off our Rose; she is an odd one ever since our dad died. She was particular attached to him, she was, and he to her if you understand what I mean."
He knew exactly what she was telling him because he had seen that same pattern often with the young Irish girls who seemed to dote on their fathers while giving the young lads the short end of the stick.
The area near the funeral parlor was packed with pubs of every description. There were the IRA pubs with their raucous singing and shouting out of insults to the Orangemen. They were usually filled with young women as well seemingly excited by the sheer vitality of it all and constantly on the lookout for a "gunman" with a loaded pistol between his legs. The Protestant pubs were more organized with many of the drinkers wearing a perennial pained look on their faces like someone had just farted in the corner and they couldn't identify the guilty party. Females were seldom in attendance because they tended to be more obedient and docile than the danger- seeking women on the other side.
Vladimir liked to go to both types of pubs and was able to mix in without a problem because he was after all an atheist and not never spoke of religious differences that anyone could remember. They liked to hear him talk in Italian with his Russian accent and poked fun at his inability to get the meaning of a simple Irish joke that went completely over his head.
When he got drunk, which was more often than not, he would talk about his experiences in Algeria fighting with the French Foreign Legion. Everyone liked to hear him tell a story like that because it was so different than the mean streets of constant daily strife that filled their existence with confrontation and danger of a different sort.
Quite accidently on a happy Saturday night, he let slip the fact that he was considered a master "bomb-maker" in the military unit and that he was often called on to diffuse a device that had been deployed close to one of their bases with the intent to kill as many colonialists as possible and drive them from their country. One sharp-eared listener happened to be a covert member of the provisional IRA unit that specialized in operations against the British forces on Irish territory. His name was Sean O'Grady and he only had three fingers on his right hand due to a mistake he made early in his career.