Several hours later, Zero and Stanley are still alive. As a lizard springs towards Mr. Pendanski, Mr. Sir shoots it and then lights a cigarette. Mr. Pendanski suggests they shoot "them" anyway, and another counselor asks if he's referring to the lizards or the boys. Mr. Pendanski points out that they have lots of graves to choose from, and the boys will die anyway.
Mr. Pendanski's shockingly callous statement betrays that even though he was the kindest counselor the narrator named, it was all a front: he's just as cruel and heartless as the Warden and Mr. Sir, and he likely acted kindly so that he could use it as a weapon as needed.
The Warden tells the counselors that their story is simple: Stanley tried to run away, fell in a hole, and the lizards got him. She says they won't even give "them" Zero's body. Mr. Pendanski notes that it doesn't make sense for Stanley to run if he knew he was getting released, but the Warden retorts that they couldn't release him yesterday because he was delirious. She stares at Zero and asks why he isn't dead yet. Stanley is barely listening and doesn't know what they're talking about. Instead, he remembers a time when he and Stanley's mother rolled down a snowy hill. Stanley is so caught up in his memory, he doesn't hear Mr. Sir tell him he's innocent and his lawyer came to pick him up.
The adult conversation going on here suggests that things have changed at Camp Green Lake: it may be moving towards being forced to comply with normal standards, given that the justice system has apparently discovered that Stanley is innocent. As Stanley escapes into his memory, it's notably one in which the natural world provides a sense of wonder and helps him get through this ordeal, much in the same way that God's Thumb helped him and Zero to survive for a week in the desert.
Not long before 4:30am, the Warden sends the counselors to the tents to deal with the campers. Only Mr. Sir remains with her. Stanley glances at Zero, who slowly gives Stanley a thumbs-up. Stanley wonders what Mr. Sir was talking about; he knows his parents are too poor to hire a lawyer.
Stanley understands that his parents have very little power to truly take on the justice system and he's fairly certain that this is a fact that's not up for debate. The possibility that this has changed suggests that there may be more justice in the world than previously thought.