The sound of the saw is steady, competent, unhurried, stirring the dying light so that at each stroke her face seems to wake a little into an expression of listening and of waiting, as though she were counting the strokes.
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.