Ruth's greatest desire has come true—to attend Briarwood Hall with Helen Cameron. As soon as the girls arrive, they are accosted by Mary Cox, known as the Fox for her cunning. Mary wishes the girls to join her club, the Up and Doing Club. Helen, in particular, is enraptured by Mary's description of her club. Shortly after Mary Cox approaches the girls, Madge Steele informs the girls about her club, the Forward Club. Ruth and Helen's discussion of the clubs begins to drive a wedge between them. Ruth feels that they should be a bit more cautious about their friendships and should make certain that they know just how things are before joining any club. During their first night at Briarwood Hall, the Up and Doing Club scares Ruth and Helen by telling them the story of the haunted Marble Fountain and forcing the girls to leave a goblet at the fountain. "It's a beautiful old place, Helen," sighed Ruth. In time, Ruth decides to form a new club of her own, the Sweetbriars. Helen refuses to have anything to do with the new club, and the two girls grow more distant. In time, the mystery of the fountain is solved, and a near-fatal accident serves to draw Helen closer to her friend.