Ruth was originally from a pelagic planet where she had few marriage prospects. Around 2266, she was one of three women who accepted an offer by Harcourt Fenton Mudd, where they were "destined for frontier planets to be the companions of lonely men, to supply that warmth of a Human touch that's so desperately needed. A wife, a home, a family." During the journey, Mudd introduced her to the Venus drug, which seemed to make her more alluring and feminine.
That year, while being ferried to Ophiucus III aboard the Stella they were intercepted by the USS Enterprise. In the process of their rescue, the Enterprise was forced to divert to Rigel XII to replace its lithium crystals. Upon learning of their destination, and the riches to be had, Mudd told Ruth that "I'll make you a duchess." He then had the three women make further inquiries on the miners who lived on the planet.
Ruth visited sickbay, and after distracting Doctor Leonard McCoy by causing his medical scanner to go haywire, she was able to determine that there were three miners on the planet, all in excellent health and fairly young.