Lucy Pryor is hypnotized by Miles Farnham while at a party. In a trance, she claims to be a woman named Dora Evans and says it is 1853. She suddenly picks up a pair of scissors and stabs her husband in the back, killing him. When questioned by the police, Lucy claims to have been under the control of Dora Evans when the murder occurred. While interviewing Farnham, the police reveal there was a real Dora Evans who did in fact kill her husband in 1853. Farnham then visits Lucy to tell her this news. He says anyone could have done some research at the library and learned about Dora. He then accuses Lucy of consciously murdering her husband and using the hypnosis as a cover. He suggests Lucy pay him off in exchange for his testimony that she was truly hypnotized. She refuses and orders him to leave.
At the coroner's inquest, the district attorney questions Farnham's credentials as a hypnotist. To prove his legitimacy, Farnham proposes to hypnotize Lucy again. She again claims to be Dora Evans and this time kills Farnham with the same scissors used to stab her husband. Satisfied that Lucy was in a trance, the inquest clears her of wrongdoing. Afterwards, the district attorney assures Lucy that she will not be prosecuted, but asks her to confide in him the truth about Dora. Her response indicates the "hypnosis" was actually a clever performance.