Helen and Tom Cameron plan an automobile trip upstream with Ruth Fielding. Soon after the friends depart, they seek shelter from a storm in an old farmhouse and are frightened by a couple of rough-looking gypsies. Ruth hears the men discussing a wealthy old woman, a valuable necklace, and how they will no longer take risks for her. Ruth wonders what it all means. Later, the chums continue on their way, but Tom's car breaks down. He goes for help, leaving Ruth and Helen alone. Some gypsies offer to help Ruth and Helen, but Ruth is suspicious. Helen insists that they accept the gypsies' help and leaves a note for Tom. Unknown to the two girls, the gypsies remove the note, leaving no clue as to where the girls went. Soon after the girls join the gypsy caravan, they realize that they are in danger. The gypsies intend to keep them captive and demand ransom from their families. He pushed Ruth roughly back into her seat. While captive, Ruth sees the valuable necklace which is in possession of the queen of the gypsies. Later, Helen and Ruth escape from the gypsies and return to Briarwood Hall. Upon their arrival at the school, Ruth learns that a five-thousand dollar reward has been offered for the recovery of a valuable necklace that was stolen from the aunt of a new student. Ruth sorely wants to become independent of her Uncle Jabez, whose allowance is offered so grudgingly. Ruth's thoughts center upon the necklace and her desire to locate it and claim the reward.