"I left something at the town house, and I need you to take me back there. My trunk. I need my black trunk".
John and Lorraine had just recently met the old man, and had barely learned his name when he makes this unusual request. Sensing "an adventure", the two teenagers respond immediately. Gus informs them that he has "got wheels", and before they know it, the three of them are on their way to the St. George area of Staten Island, where the townhouse is located. When they arrive at their destination, they find that the building is condemned, and, since Gus does not have a key, they have to heave a garbage can through a window to gain entry. The townhouse appears to be fully furnished, and John and Lorraine go to the top floor as instructed to find the old man's trunk. John, ever curious, feels compelled to examine the contents of the trunk before taking it downstairs; among other interesting items, he finds an officer's tassel, some clothing, and miscellaneous tools of trade. As he rummages more deeply into the trunk, John comes across some very old silver dollars, and a photograph of a gentleman with a beard - verification of Gus's true identity (Chapter 7).