The trolls of Victorian Scotland did not have the internet but they did have an almost telepathic means of communication.
An ear tuned for chaos could hone in on trouble from streets away.
There are countless archive reports of crowds of several thousand gathering in just minutes.
Minor altercations would explode into riots in the blink of an eye.
Usually the aim of the mob was to bring authority down a peg or two and have some free fun.
According to our archives, the stirring of a riot was heralded by two elements – the hoot and the howl.
The hoot seems to have been an individual endeavour. It served to muster the yobs who, in turn, released a collective howl.
Both were unleashed just after new year in 1880 when a wealthy merchant strode down Hilltown.
It was Friday night and he was dressed like a king. We do not know his name or where he was heading but we do know his fate was to be humiliation at the hands of a cackling mob.
Our archive report describes him as a man of the highest respectability and a merchant of the town.
That counted for nothing to a group of boys who took exception to his elaborate attire.
They assailed him with opprobrious epithets including “quacker” and “quack doctor”.
The merchant tried to ignore their insolence but the gang tailed him, bawling and lobbing stones.
Our report records that when the merchant turned to face down the crowd, it had increased to thousands.
The merchant addressed the yobs, reminding them of this high status.
They just stared back like a pack of savages and continued to barrack him and lob missiles.
As the crowd pressed in on him, the merchant became increasingly alarmed and took refuge in a small public house.
The only person inside was an old crone smoking a pipe behind the bar.
Even though the mob was surrounding the door demanding the merchant be handed over, the old woman remained oblivious.
The publican, when he eventually arrived on the scene, provided no succour, ordering him off the premises.
Outside, he pleaded for help from respectable people who were happy to walk by on the other side.
Our merchant made a frantic dash down Hilltown and into a large pub at the corner of Ann Street where he was met by greater kindness until police arrived to lead him to safety.
Despite being flanked by a number of constables, the roughs broke through the ranks to taunt the merchant with their wild faces.
Police made several arrests and six teenagers, aged 13 to 16, appeared in court the next day. They were found guilty but dismissed with admonition, no doubt to continue the dishonourable tradition of trolling the great and good.