At the ‘eatin’ house at the Bitter Creek way station, Susan was served the piece de resistance of that establishment by the proprietor, a Mr. Rawlins. Said delicacy was ‘roasted whitefish’ and Susan showed her appreciation by consuming three generous helpings.
Susan proceeded on her merry way via Wells Fargo stage to the next ‘eatin’ house and promptly ordered white fish, but was forced to settle for fried chicken. Between bites of the fowl she praised Mr. Rawlins and his white fish. Finally the waitress, a Mormon girl, could take no more and told Susan in disgust, “You didn’t eat no white fish ma’am. That was pure rattlesnake meat. That’s what that no good Rawlins serves everybody.”
In high indignation Susan sent for the manager. However, Mark Regan stepped forward and gently assured Susan that she had in truth eaten rattlesnake meat. “You see, Ma’am,” he informed her, “Rawlins is supposed to keep a supply of game to feed the stage passengers, but being somewhat of a naturalist he forgets at times. Then he just kills the first thing at hand and cooks it. Today he killed some big fat rattlers down by Bitter Creek.”
As was ladylike for members of the weaker six in that day, Susan promptly swooned. Thirty years later, however, the suffrage leader wrote to Mark Regan, “I can now smile with others over that remarkable meal.”