The leading candidate for USA presidency has just committed a murder. the only witness is a snake. A talking snake. More
Joe Adam is mistakenly taken to the far future. On realizing their error - they had intended to recall their robot identical to Adam - the aliens return the human. However on his return Adam finds himself in America, not in his home town in England. Worst, he is no longer a human being but a small grass snake.
As a snake, Adam witnesses Senator Thompson, a leading candidate for the White House murdering his own brother, reverend Thompson.
Adam goes and informs the police about what he has witnessed, encountering difficulties in convincing the law that he can talk.
The senator is arrested. Attempts are made on the snake's life to prevent the only eye-witness from testifying at the trial. Joe survives these with his wits.
Towards the end of the trial, the snake appears to die in the courtroom but the mind of Joe Adam re-unites with his human body in England. A problem occurs when Joe realises that he has been placed about hundred years in the past. Model 16, the robot which is identical to Adam meets him and tries to help.
Joe discovers that the robot is far from perfect, as it claims, and liable to make errors. In an attempt to return Joe to his own time the robot places Joe five years into his future. In a further attempt to re-address this latest mishap both Joe and the robot end up in America.
There Joe finds that he is still five years in the future. Both Joe and the robot go to see the remains of the grass-snake but the robot manages to revive the snake. So Joe Adam has one mind but two bodies, a human and a snake.
He also discovers that his friend lieutenant Horner, the man who had arrested the senator five years earlier is in a prison for the mentally insane. He is charged with the murder of his wife and daughter. Horner claims to have seen the ghost of Senator Thompson. But the senator had been found guilty at the conclusion of the trial and executed in an electric chair.
They also hear about a new wave of a crime by a gang called 'The Minute'. So named because they are entering bank vaults without opening them and vanishing with the loot without a trace. The whole process lasting no more than a minute.
Horner manages to convince his English friend that the senator is alive. This proves to be the case as the snake is abducted and taken to a small island. There he comes face to face with the man it had helped condemned to death. And the man is impatient to get even with it.
Before killing the snake the former senator gives his reason killing his own brother. The brother had stumbled on a device which could transport a person from one location to another. The reverend had asked his brother to mass produce the device and distribute it to all humanity. But the senator wanted to make a fortune for him through patents, hence the murder.
However he discovered that the device used components which would not be invented by man for another few decades. So the device was the only one of its type. This was no set back because the senator still made a fortune by entering bank vaults. He was 'The Minute'.
The snake managed to escape and teaming up with his human self, Joe Adam, the robot, lieutenant Horner and a few others capture the senator and bring him back to fulfil the death sentence.