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Six months pass. No plants or animals survived ice-nine, but the frosty polymorph did preserve all the animals it killed, so they could be thawed and eaten whenever, so that's handy.
The survivors all have their own roles. Mr. Crosby is the cook. Frank does sciency things. Newt paints while John writes. And Hazel is the designated cheerer-upper. "'No mosquitoes,'" she points out (123.4).
She's also taken upon herself to knit an American flag despite not having the proper colored cloth or right star design.
Frank made an automated SOS machine. It transmits night and day. No one answers.
Hazel wonders how John's writing is coming. John says it's coming along, but he won't show it until its ready.
Hazel and John talk of regrets.
They both agree with the poet who said "'Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, "It might have been"'" (123.30).
That poet, by the by, was Kurt Vonnegut. He was probably riffing on "Maud Muller" by John Greenleaf Whittier.