John was on his feet in a split second, only to find his daughter being helped to her feet by a somewhat sheepish man who looked like he’d just come in from a Mud Run. He might have looked familiar if John could see him clearly. Together, they helped Laura into a chair, at which point John decided to turn his “disapproving glare” up to Level Twelve.
“Do you have an explanation for this, young man?” the Scot asked harshly.
The man laughed nervously until he caught sight of John’s face. He quickly stopped laughing and tried to look serious. “Gee, I’m really sorry about all this,” he said quickly. “I meant to surprise her… just… not quite this much.”
Laura had regained the power of speech at this point and she interrupted whatever her father was going to say and leveled a look at the man that would have scared the hat off Indiana Jones himself.
“Oh you did, did you?” she said stiffly, her accent thickening with every word. “Well, I’ll tell ya that’s a right… nasty… horrible… despicable trick to play, MacGyver Phoenix!” Mac, because of course it was he, started at her use of his name. She rolled her eyes to hide the fact that they were filling with tears. “Yes, I know yer name. I know most everything about you.” Laura gave him a small and possibly sarcastic smile. “Agency 202 does keep its operatives well informed.”
Mac was flabbergasted. This wasn’t exactly the response he had been expecting. Although, he wasn’t sure what he had been expected. “Well… um…”
Laura had control of herself by now. She stood slowly, gripping the chair for support. “I hope ye’re happy,” she said in a low voice, taking a step towards him. “Do you have any idea what the last six months have been like, thinking that I’d killed you?” She threw her hands up in the air. “Gravy ‘n haggis, Mr. Phoenix, you’ve got some nerve!”
“Yes, listen, about that, I’m really sorry- well, not really, it had to be done, but I am sorry that I…” he paused, considering. “No, I can’t be sorry for that either.”
The Scottish woman had been growing angrier and angrier as Mac spoke. Finally, she gave into a baser instinct and slapped him, open-handed, across the face. She had to get out of here. She couldn’t stand here listening to this. If she was going to be honest with herself, she couldn’t bear the thought that she might burst into tears in front of this man.
Furious and embarrassed, she brushed past him and started out the door, only to have her hand caught in an iron grip. Mac pulled her back into the pub with the grace to look ashamed.
“I’m not sorry for scaring the agent that tried to poison me.” Laura raised her free arm to slap him again, but he took it in his other hand and lowered it gently. “But I am sorry for scaring the lady. I couldn’t afford to be taken in right then, so I had to do what I had to do. Can you possibly understand?”
Laura regarded him silently, letting her eyes search his face for any trace of a lie. She was excellent at reading people.
When she realized he was speaking the truth, she relaxed her arms and he let go of her.
“So,” Mac said eagerly, plunging ahead recklessly. “After Agency 202 hired me and gave me a new job, I… well, I looked you up. And while I was reading about you and learned that you were a Christian, well, I looked into that too.” He finally took a breath. “Laura, the Lord worked in my soul as well.” Smiling, he took her hands again. “Living for God and learning about Him has been the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened to me.
“And I was wondering if you’d be the second most wonderful thing.”
Laura just stared at him. What on earth was the man talking about? He sounded crazy. “Mr. Phoenix,” she said slowly, “I think you’d best sit down… let da get you a drink…”
Mac simply kept grinning that boyish grin. “Come on, Laura Kerr.” Oh, the way he said her name, as thought it was Laura-Kerr. That would surely set a girl’s heart a-flutter. She hesitated and Mac took the cue.
“I’d like to take you on a picnic to Loch Lomond tomorrow. To talk.”
Silence reigned in the pub. John practically had his mouth hanging open as he watched the exchange. Martha, who had been secreted in the stairway ever since Laura hit the floor, grasped her nightgown to her chest, waiting.
Laura Kerr, however, was praying. She didn’t look it, standing there with her poker face firmly in place, but she was fervently begging God for guidance. What on earth was she to do in a situation like this?
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
Oh, Lord help me.
MacGyver Phoenix was a Christian, after all, or at least he claimed to be. And he did have good manners. And no one could deny that he was quite handsome. The girl’s face didn’t change, but her voice answered all Mac’s questions. “Alright, Mr. Phoenix,” she said slowly and softly. “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road.”
Mac’s face lit up. “And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye.” That was all he needed. He bowed dramatically, first to Laura, then to her father, and finally to her mother (everyone had known she was there; they were all spies for Pete’s sake!). With a slight skip in his step he set off from the pub, headed off into the moors.
After her parents went back to bed, Laura slipped outside to watch MacGyver go. If she strained her ears to their farthest reach, she could just hear his voice come floating back to her. He’d changed the words.
“And me and my true love will always meet again, on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond!”
His form stopped short as Laura started singing, serenading him as he journeyed to who knows where. She wasn’t worried. She knew she would see him tomorrow.
“By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes, where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond. Where me and my true love will ever meet again, on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond!”
 James 4:11-12