Stanley slows down when he realizes nobody is chasing him. He heads towards God's Thumb, but decides he will return to camp after everyone has calmed down. He reasons he needs to go half as far as he thinks he can, then turn back. Then he'll make a deal with the Warden. Stanley is surprised to see holes so far away and not dug systematically, like at camp. Stanley starts checking in holes, though he won't admit he's looking for Zero. He finds a family of yellow-spotted lizards in one and runs away, terrified. He collapses a ways away and catches his breath. Stanley notices something on the ground and walks towards it. It's an empty bag of sunflower seeds with one seed still in it. He eats the seed for lunch.
As minimal as the positive events here are (not dying by yellow-spotted lizard; finding a speck of food), it's possible to read these events, particularly the lizard sighting, as the natural world helping Stanley along on his journey. This also suggests that Stanley might not have as hard of a time finding water as he seems to think he will. Stanley's decision to try to cut a deal with the Warden is again indicative of his optimistic nature and his belief in the goodness of people.