Dead Mens Path

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Dead Men’s Path – summary

Michael Obi became the headmaster of a school called Ndume Central School. He was very happy with his new job. He wanted to create a modern school out of an old-fashioned one. With the help of his wife Nancy, he wanted to show how a modern school should be run.

He had two aims for the new school: a high standard of teaching and a beautiful schoolyard. Nancy planted flowers of many different colours that blossomed when the rain set in.

One day, Obi saw an old woman walk right across the planted area in the schoolyard. He walked up to the place and realized that there was an old road there. He told one of his teachers who had worked at the school longer than him about the episode. Obi was shocked that people just went right through the school’s property. The teacher said that the road was seldom used, but that it was holy to the villagers. The villagers used the road when people were buried.

Obi did not like the villagers using the road right across the schoolyard. The Government Education Officer was coming to inspect the school, and Obi wanted to make a good impression.

To stop the villagers from using the road, Obi set up a big fence around the school. Three days later the village priest contacted Obi. He told Obi to remove the fence because the spirits of dead people departed by it and babies who were born came through it. Obi told the priest that his job as a teacher was to destroy old myths like that. He did not remove the fence.

Two days later a woman died in the village. An old spiritualist was contacted to calm down the relatives who strongly disliked the fence. However, the next day when Obi woke up and looked out, the beautiful garden was destroyed. The hedges around the school were torn up and the flowers trampled down.

The same day, the Supervisor came on his inspection. He was not impressed. He wrote a letter to the state where he described the tribal war between the school and the village. He also...
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