In Somerset Maugham's short story "A Casual Affair," Jack Almond resigned from his promising career at the Foreign Office and left England to cover up his love affair with Lady Kastellan. The story emerges when the narrator talks to Arthur Low, a former colonial administrator in Malaya, about a packet of letters found after Almond's death. Almond and Lady Kastellan had been in the midst of a passionate affair when the lady's husband, Lord Kastellan, had discovered the situation and threatened to divorce her. Almond had been happy to marry Lady Kastellan, but she had not wanted to give up her position in society and had, apparently (for some of the letters were missing and several points of the narrative are based on conjecture) begged Almond for the sake of her children and her family to leave England. If he did so, Lord Kastellan was willing to take her back.
Almond therefore left the Foreign Office and went to Malaya. Initially, he seemed quite happy there. Then, after five years, he returned to England for a few months, after which he ran completely to seed, became a drug addict and an alcoholic, and finally died an early death in the most squalid and obscure of circumstances. The narrator conjectures that Almond had initially been happy to sacrifice himself for Lady Kastellan, but had learned during those months in England that she never cared much for him. From her viewpoint, it had only ever been a casual affair. Almond, he believes, was the type of man who can only fall in love once. Seeing that he had wasted his chivalry and devotion on a shallow woman who did not love him, Jack Almond wasted away.