The short story "Dead Men's Path" focuses upon Michael Obi, a twenty-six year old teacher who has recently been promoted and is to take over as the headmaster of a struggling school. Obi is dedicated to teaching according to modern methods, and feels that the school, Ndume Central School, does not work according to these methods. Indeed, he feels that the school is extremely backward, but also that he has the capacity to fix this. He is particularly cheered that all the other teachers on his staff are to be young, unmarried men, because this means they will give all their energy to the school (although Obi's wife is disheartened at the thought of being the only woman involved with the school).
Obi's chief aims are described as being twofold:
1. "A high standard of teaching was insisted upon"— Obi's primary concern is that the level of teaching at the school must be improved.
2. "The school compound was to be turned into a place of beauty"—this gives Nancy, Obi's wife, an opportunity to set up the beautiful gardens she has dreamed of.