Our friend, however, escaped criticism: that is, he escaped all criticism but his own, which was much the most competent and most formidable.
But he was not for a single instant the dupe of her blundering alacrity; he knew that of what she promised she was competent to perform but an insignificant fraction, and the more she professed her willingness to serve him, the greater fool he thought her.
There are no more uses of "competent" in the book.
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If a person keeps faithfully busy each hour of the working day, he can count on waking up some morning to find himself one of the competent ones of his generation.
Izzi and I exchange a glance at that—his sheer competence is unnerving.