The story, set in Quake City, California, in the 1880s, follows the misadventures of Russell Donovan, a Gold Rush gambler who suddenly becomes the guardian of two orphaned children, Clovis and Celia, when he "wins" them in a poker game and can't get rid of them. Now, forced to care for his wards, Donovan settles down to a life of mining. Clovis and Celia, meanwhile, team with Amos and Theodore, two hopeless outlaws, and form the Apple Dumpling Gang--a gang that performs good deeds.
This pilot, based on the 1975 feature film, "The Apple Dumpling Gang," depicts the gang's efforts to save Donovan from two bounty hunters seeking the $5,000 reward posted on Donovan for card cheating. The basis for the series "Gun Shy."