Eight (ā) thieves (ē) tried (ī) to deceive (ē).
You may have heard this saying: i before e, except after c, and when sounding like a, as in neighbor and weigh. This is a guideline where there are quite a few exceptions: i before e, unless foreign scientist Keith leisurely seizes caffeine from feisty atheists.
Generally speaking, i before e (as in thief and tried)
except after c (as in deceive)
or when sounding like a, as in neighbor or weigh (and eight)