Charlotte Hollis, wealthy southern spinster, is shunned by her community for the grizzly murder some 40 years prior of her intended, John Mayhew. Even though her guilt in the matter was never proven, the townspeople liken her to a modern-day Lizzie Borden. The murders are similar in nature and the children even taunt her with cruel rhymes. For this reason she lives a life secluded from the mainstream of society. Her needs are cared for by her faithful servant, Velma. Now, progress in the guise of new highway construction threatens the Hollis plantation, her home and the family domicile since Civil War times. She refuses to leave when she is issued an eviction notice by the Sheriff and even takes pot shots at the highwaymen when they encroach upon her property line. Charlotte summons "Cousin Miriam" to fight the public battle to save her home. To her chagrin, Miriam has come with the intention of assisting with the packing -- not to save the mansion from the bulldozers. After Charlotte, Miriam is the sole heir to the Hollis estate. This is motive enough for Miriam to have Charlotte committed for her strange and reclusive behavior. But, is Charlotte insane? Doctor Drew seems to feel she may need some help across the threshold of insanity.