I recall a story, written in English, about a British or American WW1 or WW2 soldier who has to cross enemy lines to deliver a message which he was not to read. In the rain and mud, fearing the ink would run (or fearing imminent capture, I forget which) the soldier reads and memorizes the message and destroys the paper.
He survives to deliver the message. Why did the general (or colonel, I forget) trust the messenger’s word about the contents of the message in the absence of the official notepaper? He trusted it because the message was either “shoot the messenger” or “kill the messenger” or a variant. Surely no spy or double agent would deliver such a message!
What is the name of this story? Who wrote it?
To help narrow down the time, I read this story sometime in the 1970’s.
The story may have been in a public school textbook. I attended school in New York State.