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After deeply disturbed Louise Howell is brought to the psychiatric ward of a hospital, Dr. Harvey Willard persuades her to relate the events leading up to her breakdown: In Washington state, Louise, who works as a nurse for the emotionally disturbed wife of Dean Graham, is in love with engineer David Sutton and wants to marry him, but he does not return her love and, annoyed by her possessiveness, ends their relationship. David then asks Graham, who does not know of his affair with Louise, to recommend him for a job in Canada. Louise overhears their conversation and later begs David to take her with him to Canada. Sometime later, Graham's wife Pauline drowns herself while Louise is away in the village. That night, still upset by David's behavior, Louise thinks she hears the woman calling her, but the voice belongs to Graham's daughter Carol, who accuses Louise of having an affair with her father. After the funeral, Graham asks Louise to stay on and care for his young son Wynn. When David returns from Canada, Louise is greatly upset and quits. Graham, however, tells her that he has fallen in love with her and wants to marry her, and although she does not love him, Louise agrees. Before the ceremony, Carol apologizes for her suspicions and adds that Pauline's doctor explained that the woman's jealousy was a symptom of her illness. One evening Louise and Carol encounter David at a concert. Disturbed by the meeting, Louise leaves early and suffers a hallucination in which she fantasizes that Carol and David are in love and plotting against her, and that she killed Pauline. A worried Louise secretly consults a doctor, who diagnoses neurasthenia and possible schizophrenia and recommends that she consult a psychiatrist. When she returns home, Louise asks Graham for a divorce, but he is convinced that a vacation will take care of her problems. They return to the beach house where Pauline died, and Louise imagines that Pauline is commanding her to kill herself. When Graham asks why Louise is afraid of Pauline, she confesses that she helped Pauline to the water and watched as she drowned. To Louise's relief, Graham insists that she was in the village at the time of Pauline's death and had nothing to do with it. Later, when Graham and Louise go dancing, they encounter Carol and David, who have just become engaged. Afterward, Louise tells Carol that David is in love with her, although Carol refuses to believe it. An angry David confronts Louise and threatens to tell Graham about their affair. That night, Graham asks Louise to see a friend of his who is a psychiatrist. Louise agrees, but then runs away to David's house, where she shoots and kills him. After she finishes her story, Graham, who has been summoned by Willard, arrives at the hospital. Willard tells him that Louise can be cured, and Graham promises to stay by her side.